Country Roads SILM - Fall 2012

The Power of Hugging

Wanda Lou Willis 0000-00-00 00:00:00

I’m taking a departure from my normal folklore/history articles to share with you the power of hugging. Hugs can convey more than words; comfort, caring, kindness, love, and can lift your spirits. Studies have proven that hugs can lower our blood pressure and heart rate and reduce stress. I sign all my communications with “Hoosier Hugs” and admit to freely giving physical hugs. I always hope those who receive my hugs walk away with a smile on their faces and in their hearts. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I went through a battery of questions and tests. At this time, a heart anomaly showed up. A heart specialist checked this out and pronounced my heart was fine. Before he left I gave him one of my “Hoosier Hugs.” When the tech came back in she said, “When I met the doctor he had a big smile on his face. The first thing he said was, ‘She hugged me.’” My Oncologist, Dr. Bhatia, and his staff at Community Regional Cancer Care, knows the value and importance of hugs. Each and every patient receives warm sincere hugs. This goes a long way in easing the patient’s anxieties. Recently I was surprised when a smiling young girl gave me a warm hug. Her mother apologized explaining her daughter was mentally challenged. She had been trying to teach her that not everyone wants to be hugged. This child’s hugs are basic love being demonstrated. Before we parted, I gave them both “Hoosier Hugs.” Often when we feel lonely, stressed, sad, or fearful we turn to comfort food, a drink at the bar, or tuning out in front of the TV. The best thing that we can do for our mental physical health and to alleviate these feelings is to give and receive hugs. A hug provides comfort and connection like nothing else. Today we all seem to be on that fast treadmill. We don’t take time to give those small gestures that can make a powerful impact on ourselves and those around us. A warm hug can do wonders. We all want our personal space. However, we need the reassurance that we’re connected and not alone. Taking a moment to give a hug may make a tremendous difference in someone’s life. Imagine the hug you gave was passed on to two or three others, and they in turn passed it on -- A chain reaction that could travel miles and touch millions bringing smiles to their faces. Hugs convey an unexplainable, mysterious feeling of connection that no other action can. A hug is the basic need and part of ourselves that makes us flourish. An unknown author wrote, “You can’t wrap love in a box, but you can wrap a person in your arms.” They say, “An apple a day will keep the doctor away.” I’m sure hugs are just as important. They certainly aid in relieving mental and emotional stress and just plain feel good to give and to receive. Try it. Give someone a hug today. I’m sending you “Hoosier Hugs.”

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