Want to feel better and better and better again? Here's an easy daily practice that will have you at your best.

Did you know that hugs are super good for you? Super good. Virginia Satir, psychotherapist, proposes that we need 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 for maintenance and 12 for growth. 10 second duration hugs are the very best kind too.

Hugs release oxytocin, a neurochemical that is a happy hormone. It works to elevate your feel-good levels, and lower your stress, through reducing cortisol levels. Supporting research indicates that hugs can lower blood pressure, aid in feelings of depression, build trust, lower heart rates and strengthen the immune system.

Here's what I know for sure, hugs make all of us feel better. This is because touch imprints us at a cellular level from when we were children. As adults the feeling of a hug stimulates cell memoriesand increases our feelings of self worth. So you really dofeel better. And when you feel better, your life feels better. You start to see the possibilities and options. You start to say hello to others and connect in to your social networks more. This feels better and then better again. This positive upwards spiral feels tremendously powerful.

Your hugs can come in any form, from children, parents, partners to animals. Just mindfully make your quota and see what happens.

Challenge yourself to 12 hugs a day. Let's see what a difference this can make.

Report back here in the comments!

 

Auvray, M., Myin, E., & Spence, C. (2010). The sensory-discriminative and affective-motivational aspects of pain. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 34, 214-223.

Paladino, M.P., Mazzurega, M., Pavani, F., & Schubert, T. (2010). Synchronous multisensory stimulation blurs self-other boundaries. Psychological Science, 21, 1202-1207

Wilhelm, F. H., Kochar, A. S., Roth, W. T., & Gross, J. J. (2001). Social anxiety and response to touch: Incongruence between self-evaluative and physiological reactions. Biological Psychology, 58, 181-202.