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Can a hug reduce stress?

Not only do hugs help us to feel closer to others, but they also help us to feel happier 

with ourselves and reduce stress.


In general, social touch can boost serotonin and dopamine levels as

well as release endorphins ‘the feel-good hormones' and natural pain relievers.


Hugs and eye contact are not just for the little children in our life.


Young People and adults also need to feel that there is at least one person in their world that genuinely cares about their existence, that takes the time to stop and ask how they are feeling.


Many young people can feel invisible or have a sense of hopelessness.


A hug or meaningful eye contact has no age limit, we all need to feel close and connected to

others.


That may not always be with our immediate family, but we all need someone

to feel connected with, to feel safe with and to mirror safe, trusted and respectful

connection.


Life can get busy, and you may not feel there is enough time in the day to give eight

separate interactions with your loved ones, but there are key points during the course 

of the day that help to reach that somewhat magical number.


Children need about eight touches and meaningful eye contact in a day to feel

connected to parents and other trusted adults.


Giving your loved one or child a hug or a kiss good morning, a pat on the back as they eat their breakfast, helping them pack their bag or pack their lunch, a hug before they go 

off to school or work and many more micro moments full of serotonin to boost

everyones confidence, self-worth, and sense of belonging.


Eye contact conveys; you are safe, you are loved, you are in my thoughts.


Our eyes speak a thousand words and children pick up on everyone one of those thousand

words, they innately read for cues of safety, love, worry, fear and anxiety.

Just as our eyes convey safety and love so can our physical touch.


When we interact with others in particular ways, our brains release a chemical called oxytocin.

This is sometimes called the love or hug hormone.

Your brain naturally releases it in response to a warm touch.


For example, when you’re hugging or being hugged.



This can help you manage stress, improve your relationships, and it also boosts your wellbeing.


So hugging more and taking the time to give eye contact when engaged in

conversation with others can actually improve mental health and wellbeing for both the giver and receiver!



What you don't heal you pass on.

Be well,

Justine









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