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Love and Hugs - Health for the Body, Mind and Heart

Updated on January 18, 2018
Jackie Lynnley profile image

Healthcare comes first and foremost. It is so much wiser to look at prevention as often as possible, before we need the cure.

Would you consider being in your mother's womb a hug? Certainly it looks to be for the fetus's we can now view moving around in there. So it well could be our first nine months of hugs. Then it is said we spend our first three years after birth being hugged often, considered a baby.still.

So the beginning of our lives are all about hugs except for some very unlucky ones, but this article is for the most of us who remember hugs and love. Even if we do not remember, may it have helped form who we grew up to be? How important are all these hugs from parents, grandparents, family members and then friends, to eventual romantic hugs?

Can love and touch affect us spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically? Let us look at what love and hug's affects are on us. Perhaps more than you ever dreamed.

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"A hug is like a boomerang - you get it back right away."

~Bil Keane, "Family Circus"

Hugs and Health

Hugs are a great way of healing. Research shows that hugging is particularly effective in healing sickness, disease, loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress. Heartfelt hugs also are helpful in many ways.

1. The human touch of a hug forms trust and a sense of protection, helping with open and honest communication.

2. Hugs increase oxytocin levels, healing loneliness, seclusion and resentment.

3. Extending a hug boosts one's serotonin levels, lifting mood and a happy feelings.

4. Hugs make the immune system stronger. The tender pressure on the sternum and passionate charge this builds, triggers the Solar Plexus Chakra. This stimulates the thymus gland, that controls and steadies the body's production of white blood cells, that make us well and disease free.

5. Hugs enhance self-esteem, with touch and hugs from the time we are born being shown love and affection. We are taught love through hugs of affection by all those around us. Love come from many people in many forms.

6. Hugs relax us and let tensions go in the body. They can also relieve aches and pain.

7. Hugs steady our nervous system, giving us a more balanced state of being.

8. Hugs teach us how to give and take, being equal to others for what we ourselves want.

9. Hugs connect us to our heart and feelings.

10. The vital give and take between people hugging is a practice in learning to share and bond with each other.


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"Be close to the person who makes you happy. But be closer to the person who cannot be happy without you...

~ Anurag Prakash Ray

Hugs

Do you think hugs are beneficial?

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“Sometimes the right hug from the right person at the exact right time makes all the wrong in the world disappear...”

― Sarah Ockler, #scandal

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Love and Health

Love lowers blood pressure and stress levels! Happy married couples have lower blood pressure than unmarried people, while unhappy married couples have higher blood pressure than both groups. This is according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.

This is not limited only to love between romantic couples but close friendships among loving friends has the same effect! People with quality friendships, a study found, had lower blood pressure than their less social equals.

To be in love has proven to lessen a person's chances of being depressed. People who were recently married averaged 3.42 points lower on the 84-point depression scale than unmarried people, according to a study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Just being with your partner you love can lower the risk of mental health issues. Among women, a 2005 study showed of the middle aged women living with someone they loved lowered the risk of psychological problems, as well as being married would.

Couples in love have fewer visits to the doctor than those without love. A Wilkes University study showed that having sex at least once a week raised your levels of IgA [the antibody that fights sicknesses and keeps us healthy [WebMD]. The hormone, Oxytocin, which is released when we kiss or touch someone we love, could be responsible, too. It can suppress stress hormones and boost immunity, studies prove. Supposing it is not just the sex, but the closeness, which also extends to friends and close relationships.

Married couples have a longer lifespan than unmarried couples, with married men half as likely to suffer from a heart attack. Both married men and women have extremely lower rates of serious ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s and lung disease. This is according to the National Longitudinal Mortality Study.


Source

"In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart."

~ Mahatma Gandhi

Love and Mental Health

Love makes us feel worthy and valuable, giving us nerve to take chances on things such as marriage and having children. To leave our comfort zone and walk away to a new life! It gives us a sense of self-worth, courage to reach out and grab life by the tail! We can commit with love, learn patience and form attachments.

Love allows us to cope with life’s downers, such as loss and sadness, illness and despair. Love allows us hope and gives us strength to put up with bad things and a desire to make them better. Love helps us turn it all around to bring happiness out of sad situations.

Love plays a major role in mental health. You can appear to have everything but without love, what does any of it mean? Love is from the heart but consumes our mental well being. It is a must to mental survival. Nothing matters without love.

We should give this as much consideration as our medication, and maybe more so. Perhaps we do not give love the credit it deserves in our well being.

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"If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus a day So I don't have to live a day without you."

~ Winnie the Pooh

Will a Hug a Day Keep the Doctor Away

Looks like there is a good chance of it!

According to one study a hug can be good treatment to warm your heart. An experiment at the University of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, showed ones who didn’t have any contact with their partners developed a quickened heart rate of ten beats per minute compared to five beats per minute with those who got to hug their partners during this experiment.

Hugging and physical touch becomes increasingly important with age. University psychologist Janice Kiecolt-Glaser told USA Today, “The older you are, the more fragile you are physically, so contact becomes increasingly important for good health."

Studies show that loneliness, especially with age, may increase stress and have bad health effects, too. Hugging someone makes us immediately feel closer to that person and lessons those lonely feelings.

Many requiring therapy in life do so from a result of a lack of love. We must all feel loved to be fulfilled in life. Love gives us something very special in just small or simple things.

So from birth (perhaps before) touch (hugs) and love, are a must, for healthy mind, body and heart. Are hugs and love enough to keep the doctor away?

Tests and scientific studies appear to prove that they do!

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People Getting Hugs Get Sick Less Often

© 2018 Jackie Lynnley

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  • Jackie Lynnley profile image
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    Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South

    That is so true Peggy and I think we should go out of our way with those hugs for the elderly! Many may never get touched or hugged and if we don't feel a hug is right a pat or rub on the back with kind words might do wonders.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 2 months ago from Houston, Texas

    Hugs can indeed be healing. We have a psychologist friend who gives the longest hugs of anyone we know. Sometimes people forget about the simple things like the power of touch.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image
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    Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South

    I am all for hugs, they are so important for all of us to children, parents, spouses and friends, Ray.

  • caretakerray profile image

    Ray Van Hoff 3 months ago from Michigan U.S.A.

    I love hugs. I like to hug my boy everyday. Men hug too.

    Great hub!

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image
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    Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Thank you Dora and I agree on that quote. That exact right time one might make us break down in tears sometimes, but they are happy ones.

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 3 months ago from The Caribbean

    I believe in contact and connectedness as prescriptions for good health. Thanks for this important reminder. Beautiful picture of that couple and I know that the Sarah Ockler quote is true.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image
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    Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South

    I agree Kari. thank you.

  • k@ri profile image

    Kari Poulsen 3 months ago from Ohio

    Love is so important to our health, and what better way to share it than a hug. :)

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image
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    Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Thank you, Bill. It really was a pleasure putting this together and learning so much, myself.

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    William Kovacic 3 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

    That was so interesting, Jackie. A lot of good, practical information that i really never thought about before or was aware of. Thanks!

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image
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    Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Thanks Linda. I do believe there are many out there who would love a hug and probably will not get one Perhaps we can all look around for that someone? I think I will.

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 3 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

    Hugs between two people who are fond of each other and who appreciate the contact can be a wonderful form of interaction. Thanks for reminding us of the value of hugs, Jackie.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image
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    Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Paula, thank you! I had hugger families too growing up and an aunt and cousin who were slobbery kissers, but hey, you just accepted it and wiped your face when no one was looking! I always smile at those memories and know that yes, every word of this is true!

    Thanks again! Great to see you.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image
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    Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Hugs right back at you Bill. I don't think I would ever mistake you for a dirty old man!

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image
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    Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Glad you agree Peg, we all really know deep down i think just what the right hug means!

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image
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    Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Thank you shanmarie, I loved your hug...and one back to you!

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Jackie.....I absolutely love this article. I smiled through every word....a topic close to my heart. Nearly every single person I was exposed to during my childhood were hugging fiends! We never entered a room without being grabbed, hugged and kissed by each & every person....friends, family & even meeting new people. Fully demonstrative & affectionate people (a lot of Italians!! LOL).....It's what we knew and what we did.

    As I grew into adulthood and became acquainted with the "rest of the world," of course I realized that not everyone is touchy, feely. I'll never change however, nor will the waning number of family members I still have. 2 of my adult cousins & I meet about once a month just to keep in touch. We immediately give bear hugs, a kiss on the cheek and say "I love you."....and then again when we are saying Good Bye. My cousin Barb once laughed & whispered to me, "I wonder what the rest of these people in this restaurant think about 3 grown women hugging & kissing each other?" My response was "Who cares?....they may even be jealous!!" LOL

    I'm just a hugger....period. I'll hug anyone willing to accept! If they get the wrong idea, I can always set them straight.

    I have seen people standing on a crowded, busy street, holding a sign that says "FREE HUGS." It warms my heart to see people responding to that & happily sharing a hug!!

    I strongly believe in every last word of your great article and THANK YOU for writing it!!

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 3 months ago from Olympia, WA

    In this time of inappropriate touching, I'm a hugger. I believe in hugs, and I still risk offending the "appropriate police" by hugging people...and Bev is more of a hugger than I am, if that's even possible. :)

    Sending you a hug from Olympia

  • PegCole17 profile image

    Peg Cole 3 months ago from Dallas, Texas

    As always, your choice of beautiful photos and quotes enhance this information-filled reminder about physical love and the importance of hugs. Hugs always make me feel better and serve to comfort in times of sorrow and happiness.

  • shanmarie profile image

    shanmarie 3 months ago

    Haha! Thanks for the laugh, Jackie. Hugs for you now. ;)

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image
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    Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South

    I was extremely shy as a child and it did take me years to get over that, shanmarie. I have come a long way too. Doubt I ever get to where I should be but I think I can work around it. Don't think I will ever be a hug everybody person. I do love to hug old people but even there...you have to watch some of the older men. haha

  • shanmarie profile image

    shanmarie 3 months ago

    Maybe so. Get more hugs from those we are comfortable with , that is. Can't argue with better health. :) I also try to be aware of the various love languages because that helps. I used to not even verbally express affection very often to people other than family. I do that quite often as an adult now. Though there have been a few people who surprised me by responding with a hug to something I said or did for them. People I would not have imagined would because I don't typically see them touching others. You know what I mean. Some people are so comfortable with touch to show affection that they often touch or pat someone when talking or things like that. Then again, hugs are a natural to those with the love language of touch and it isn't just for particularly touching situations. No pun intended.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image
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    Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South

    I do understand shanmarie, I am that way too, especially strangers but often with people I know too. It does not come naturally. Probably the way our mothers brought us up. It is good to know these facts though and they do make sense. Maybe we just need to hug those we have no problem with a lot more?

  • shanmarie profile image

    shanmarie 3 months ago

    I have mixed feelings about hugs. I am sentimental. Very much so and often emotionally sensitive. However, I am not much of a touchy feely person in person, if that makes sense. Unless I know someone really well. Just makes me self-consciousness. That said, I love hugs and the sentiment of one.

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