July 31, 2013
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We need love not only to survive, but to thrive.
I know this to be true because I am hungry for love. I am going through a stretch of really feeling this hunger deep in my body. Much the way our bodies communicate to us when we are hungry for food, for nourishment, saying “feed me!” – our stomachs might growl or start to hurt, we might feel weak or fatigued, we might experience other extreme feedback if our bodies are depleted of essential vitamins or minerals – our bodies communicate our need for the nourishment of love. I feel the tangible ache in my heart, I have that insatiable feeling of not getting enough to eat, of needing more food. I am feeling very hungry for deeper connection, for intimacy. I am feeling hungry for love.
We humans are much like the flowers, plants, and trees that grow on this planet, all of which need sun, water, and nutrient soil not only to survive, but to thrive. For us our sun, water, and nutrients are LOVE. And one of the most primary or fundamental ways we experience love is through touch and HUGS.
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, psychotherapist
Yoga teacher Marcus Julian Felicetti writes in “10 Reasons Why We Need at Least 8 Hugs a Day,”
Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the Solar Plexus Chakra. This stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells, which keep you healthy and disease free.
He also writes that hugs “boost self-esteem” and balance the nervous system. Hugs are like an elixir for health and well being. Hugs prompt the body to release that “feel good” hormone, oxytocin.
I invite everyone who reads this to a HUG challenge: give at least eight hugs a day, because when we give, we also receive.