Years ago I read an article that said we needed 12 hugs a day to be mentally well. The author went on to write that the hugs could be physical, verbal or visual. I never forgot that article. To this day I am still unsure as to why that particular article resonated so strongly within me. I unfortunately did not keep a copy of the article however Virginia Satir, a family therapist was quoted, “To survive this life, we need 4 hugs a day. For healthiness, we need 8 hugs a day. To keep ageless and happiness, we need 12 hugs a day,” In recent years there has been more research on this subject. Hugging by definition is: “To embrace” or” to keep close to” A hug is the most commonly accepted form of touch among people in the world.
Hugging, a simple expressions of affection, improves and strengthen peoples connections and relationships with other people and themselves. The simple truth is that a hug creates those feelings of acceptance and compassion.
A smile conveys warmth and acceptance. It makes us feel good about ourselves and others. Smiling releases natural feel good drugs such as endorphins, natural painkillers and serotonin. Smiling also helps us stay positive.
A verbal hug is a sincere acknowledgement said to make the person feel warm, loved and honored. A sincere compliment can have a profound, positive impact on our emotional state. A compliment given in the right way can be likening to verbal sunshine.
Age doesn’t matter! Infants to seniors, we all require hugs to flourish. Hugs are important when we talk about the CAR or Mental Fitness. Picture a parent or grandparent smiling, embracing a child and saying,” I am proud of the choices you have been making.” or saying to a friend,”One of the things I like about you is that you have a terrific sense of humor.”
A smile is priceless; a sincere compliment worth its weight in gold and an old fashion bear hug tells me how important I am to you.
Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day. ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Debbie McCormack’s educational background is in the Nursing profession. One of her passions is volunteering with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). CMHA is a not for profit agency whose vision statement is, “Mentally Healthy People in a Healthy Society”. Debbie has facilitated programs that include topics such as Parenting, Self Esteem for Teens and educational sessions for individuals coping with Panic and Anxiety Disorders. Debbie would tell you, “I am not an expert, just a person whose has had the opportunity to learn Mental Fitness (C-A-R) skills.” As you read this blog, she hopes that you are encouraged to begin your own journey to Mental Fitness.