Hugging. (video at the end)
Research shows that hugging releases endorphins, lowers blood pressure, lowers cortisol (stress hormones), improves sleep, and increases social connectedness. How amazing!?
I can vaguely recall that a country (possible Germany around World War II had any many woman to have babies and then give them over to the state. The babes were kept along in cribs without social interaction. If I recall right, their aim was to build soldiers out of these kids. However, most of them died due to the lack of social interaction and human contact. We humans are social animals. Those who did survive ended up having delays in areas of their life. Disclaimer: I don’t have a source for this.
Some of my tips: ask first. Respect boundaries. I [Danny Pettry] provide services for children with abuse-reactive needs. They often have poor boundaries and need to be taught boundaries because they haven’t learned. As a rule for people in the helping field (like recreational therapists) hugging patients is often an ethical no-no. However, sometimes it might be appropriate (in example: rec therapist giving hug to resident in nursing home on her birthday who lacks a family). At our facility, we provide side-hugs for children and teens if they ask for it. The reason for hugging on the side opposed to front is due to the kids past experience with abuse and to avoid having any body parts pressing against a person.
My mentor Jack Canfield argues to lean in to the right when you hug a person so both hearts can be together as one.
I must admit I am very akward about hugging and touching. I did participate in hugging exercises during a breakthrough to success training with Jack Canfield.
You may want to share this video with others who could benefit from it:
Read a post at Happyologist (based on the United Kingdom) on the shocking truth about hugs: