Do you like hugs? I do. I definitely desire receiving love from physical touch. One of our kids is too, must have gotten that from me. Other children and spouse not so much, but physical touch is needed even if not desired to be reciprocated. Hug anyway.
When the kids were young we tried to institute a good morning hug and a hug at night policy. Did you know children deprived of physical touch can physically stop growing even if given a healthy nutritious diet?
How many hugs do you think are necessary to fuel and refill depleted love tanks?
The experts then said 8. Nowadays it is 12. According to the family therapist Virginia Satir: “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”*
And the longer the hug the better.
Studies have shown that a twenty second hug reduces the harmful and physical effects of stress, including its impact on your blood pressure and heart rate.
- Hugs heal the loneliness in someone’s heart.
- Touching another lovingly can add in healing of sickness and disease too.
- Depression and anxiety can lessen.
- Hugs can even induce a peaceful night’s sleep.
Laughter has the same effective and releases the same hormone in the brain.
So, go ahead and laugh or hug. It will be good for your outlook and will look good on you too. And this time of year is an easy excuse to hug for the holidays.
Bottom line is physical touch is good for our survival. It says I am needed, I am included, and we find safety in another’s arms. That’s how God intended us to live in community and a good ole fashioned bear hug says just that.
But, do take note of this: “His huge outstretched arms protect you – under them you’re perfectly safe; His arms fend off all harm. Fear nothing – not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows in the day, Not disease that prowls through the darkness, not disaster that erupts at high noon. Even though others succumb all around, drop like flies right and left, no harm will even graze you. You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance, watch the wicked turn into corpses. Yes, because God’s your refuge, the High God your very own home, Evil can’t get close to you, harm can’t get through the door. He ordered His angels to guard you wherever you go. If you stumble, they’ll catch you; their job is to keep you from falling. You’ll walk unharmed among lions and snakes, and kick young lions and serpents from the path. “If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God, “I’ll get you out of any trouble. I’ll give you the best of care if you’ll only get to know and trust Me.” Psalm 91.4-14 MSG
Good passage to remind us to stick close to God. He is our refuge and there is safety in His arms.
Yes, Lord Jesus, there is safety in your arms. Help us run to you and be filled. Remind us to help others be filled too and a prolonged hug can do just that. Help us, Father, trust in You. Guide us Holy Spirit in everything we do. Thank You, Jesus, for coming to earth as a babe in human form. Help us, God, in all we do so we can…
By the way, Hug Day is exactly one month away on January 21 so mark your calendars. But, of course you don’t have to wait till then to dole out hugs liberally and often!
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