"We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth." - Virginia Satir
Whether it is the candy type of Hugs and Kisses - or the "real thing" - people who give and receive affection are generally happier and tend to be less depressed than those who have a hard time expressing and receiving warmth. Studies have shown that they even live longer! Despite how good it can feel to give and get hugs and kisses, so many people have a hard time "reaching out" and feel awkward and even embarrassed about displays of affection. Even a study done by Coca Cola Company in 16 countries found that the best predictor of happiness is human contact.
What about you? Do you keep yourself distant from others? Are you uncomfortable with displays of affection to others close to you? If so, make an effort to overcome your discomfort and embrace the warmth and closeness of your relationships. What's stopping you? Reach out and hug someone!
As a psychotherapist, it has often struck me that it is far easier for people in my office to express negative feelings and thoughts than more positive ones. All too often, in a busy a hectic life, words of appreciation and gratitude are not commonplace and might even be non-existent. It just seems so much easier to focus on our anger and discontent rather than our gratitude and feelings of warmth.
In bringing this to a couple's attention, and asking them to look into each other's eyes and say something they appreciate often drastically changes the tone of the session. The tension in the room is cut by smiles and positive emotion.
In working with couples, I have often been struck that a simple request to look into one another's eyes and for each of them to say something positive about one another, even in the height of frustration, alters the whole mood of the session. The best thing is that smiles and love are completely free - they are equal opportunity expressions!
Spread The Love!
Have a candy jar of Hershey Hugs and Kisses in your home or office, and freely give them out to show appreciation for something that someone did, or just if you feel warmly towards them. This is a great teambuilding tool is you work in an office, and works also well at home! When you give someone a Hug or Kiss, express know why you are appreciative! You don't have to be stingy with spreading the love!
- The more we can give and receive love, the happier we tend to be.
- Expressing positive feelings makes everyone feel good inside.
- Be specific. When you express appreciation to someone, be specific about what you appreciate.
- The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives.
- Love and caring give our life meaning.
- No matter how angry you feel at someone, make a point to remember the reason why you care, even in the midst of being upset!
- As the saying goes, love makes the world go round!
- Make a point to look at someone when you talk to them - it is easier to express positive feelings when you look them in the eye! Hug them with your eyes!
- Don't forget to give yourself a hug and a kiss too!
Love and hugs from me to you! Now didn't that make you smile? Pass it around!