Being mindful when giving and receiving hugs with my family:
There’s nothing like the warm comforting embrace of a long, deep hug with a loved one.
And after being home alone for the last two weeks and following an emotional few days, I really needed a big hug.
Thankfully my family were due back from their summer holidays in the sunshine. As well as looking forward to seeing them, I was also looking forward to sharing some lovely hugs with them.
This morning, I popped round for a cuppa and chat with my sis who’d returned home late last night. And of course I wanted to sneak a few hugs in: making sure I enjoyed a few snuggly ones with my three-year-old nephew Thomas, who is becoming as good as his older brother at giving the bestest hugs ever!
(I always make sure I get a nephew hug or two whenever I see them; there’s no escaping Auntie Helen’s Mega Hugs!)
Then, early this afternoon, my folks returned from their two-week holiday. As their taxi pulled up, I ran out to welcome them home, and of course, to give my mum a big welcome home hug.
I’ve really been missing my daily love-hug with my mum and followed her around the house the rest of the day, trying to grab as many hugs as I could.
It’s funny thinking back to how I used to feel a little uncomfortable and embarrassed at anything longer than a quick embrace.
And I have a dear Sydney-based friend to thank for that.
She’s a fantastic hugger. She stopped me from breaking free after a nano second and helped me overcome my hugging awkwardness! She showed me how there’s something really special about long, deep hugs. I still miss her hugs.
I totally see how there’s so much scientific evidence on their many health benefits. A meaningful hug does wonders for my wellbeing. As well as feeling loved and protected, they make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
And there’s also incredible benefits for giving as well as receiving. Knowing that the person I’m hugging is also receiving the bountiful benefits a hug can bring, adds to the magical experience.
As I continue to make the most of daily love-hugs with my mum, I urge you to get hugging too.
Here’s my top tips for enjoying a nourishing and heartwarming hug:
1. Pick the person you’d like to share a hug with
2. For a heart-to-heart hug, put your head to your right as you look at the other person, and place your left arm over their right arm and your right arm under their left arm
3. Hug like you mean it and be mindful not to rush it. Aim for at least 20 seconds in order to release the ‘love drug’ hormone Oxytocin, which calms the nervous system and boosts positive emotions
4. Enjoy bathing in the afterglow of your love-hug
So with this in mind, my happy for today is being mindful when giving and receiving hugs with my family.