Holiday and Hugs

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you all had a super fun 4th of July, or if you’re not in the country, a great Monday! 🙂

Yesterday, I woke up feeling insanely sore my stair workout on Sunday. My calves have not felt that tight in a while! I also woke up feeling a cold coming on :(. My throat was kind of sore and my head felt kind of cloudy. So I decided to forgo the workout- I think that was a smart decision. And then, to make that no exercising decision even easier, I rammed my knee into my magazine rack in my bedroom. Seriously, sometimes I am such a klutz haha.

This pic is from this morning, so thankfully it looks a little better. Yesterday it was bleeding everywhere…ew.

Anyhoo, yesterday afternoon I went and saw Transformers 3 with my dad, his fiance, and my bro. I thought it was really entertaining- maybe a little long, but I’m still glad that I saw it! I’m not gonna lie, I really like Shia LeBouf- does anyone else remember his days on The Even Stevens?

Last night I went over to my aunt’s house for a holiday cookout. It was soooo nice to see some of my family on my mom’s side. I haven’t seen any of them since my winter break.

Awww, isn’t he adorable? This is my cousin’s baby- we call him Little Ben :). The last time I saw him he was still crawling- it’s crazy how fast things change! And I love his red hair!

This is my aunt Stephanie (one of my mom’s sisters), me and my mom! Don’t you love our matching outfits? White on top, dark on the bottom 🙂

Me, my nana, and granddaddy! 🙂 Gotta love the festive colors going on!

There was so much food, and it was amazing. I think I ate my body weight in chips and homemade guacamole. Seriously, I can’t control myself around that stuff.

Holy yum, all of the food was awesome! I tried to get small portions of lots of things :). And then the brownie and cookie were eye-roll back in the head tasty. Duh.

Hugs All Around

So, when my mom and I were driving back to Ohio last Thursday, we were talking about how good it feels to get a bear hug from someone. Of course, this got me to thinking- hmm, I wonder if hugs have an impact on a person’s health? Ever since I started blogging, I seem to get curious about whether or not things impact a person and their health. Does anyone else do this? Please tell me I’m not crazy :).

When I got home and could access the internet, I started looking things up and found this (note- these don’t come from research articles, but still..they are interesting)

“According to the Department of Health and Human Services, receiving or giving as few as four hugs per day can serve as an antidote for depression. Eight hugs a day may lead to achieving mental stability and twelve hugs per day could lead to real psychological growth.” (Article Source)

“Hugs have been shown to reduce heart rates, improve overall moods, lower blood pressure, increase nerve activity, and a host of other beneficial effects.” (Article Source)

  • When a person is hugged, their comfort level is increased, and they enjoy being around a fellow human being…our heart rates become more relaxed and over a period of time, lower heart rates and increased time spent being happy can actually lower blood pressure and have very effective bonuses to heart health.
  • Hugs are sometimes used as a form of physical therapy. Think about it: when you give or receive a hug, you are making full body contact with another person. Medical science has shown and proven that contact of this kind can stimulate nerve endings throughout the body and increase circulation. 
  • People who hug more frequently tend to be more open about their emotions and develop a greater sense of closeness and compassion to those around them.

I found this all really interesting! I mean of course, I always feel great when I get a hug. I feel loved, connected to the other person, and I can calm down. To read about that actual physiological things a hug can impact is really cool.

I think that in society today we don’t give each other enough hugs. It’s kind of sad. When I was a camp counselor I wasn’t allowed to hug any of the children (some of them were 4 years old!) due to liability reasons. I understand why there was this rule, but I still think that our culture is not placing enough importance on the power of hugging another human being. Obviously you don’t just want to go up to a rando and give them a hug- that would produce an awkward groping sesh for both parties. But, think about the simple impact you can have on an acquaintance if you give them a good hug. Think about how you’ve been cheered up before and felt loved when someone gave you a great hug. And, now you know that a hug can benefit health- that’s awesome!

I challenge you today to give someone that you love a really good, strong hug. In the words of Nike, just do it :).

—-

On another note, my mom keeps reminding me that 23 years ago today she was already in labor with me. She was in labor for 23 hours- thus I was born the 6th. Eek, that sounds miserable. Sorry mom! Just think though, you got a great daughter after pushing me out 🙂

Questions:

Do hugs ever make you feel better, loved, accepted, etc?

Do you like to give and receive hugs? Or do you feel like your personal space is being violated?

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About In Sweetness and In Health

I'm Lindsay! I'm a 23 year-old graduate student in occupational therapy. I love all things health and fitness related and this blog will document my life as I learn to really love myself, try to stop worrying so much about my body, and truly take advantage of all the sweet things that life offers us.

Posted on July 5, 2011, in Family, Health, Life. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. You know, I’m actually not a hugger. I like family hugs and hubby hugs and kitty hugs, but that’s about it. I do believe in the healing power of touch though (at least to some extent), so bring on the open arms!

    Cute pics by the way – especially the matching white tops/dark pants!

  2. Ouch on the knee! I’ve done that before, and it’s amazing how much blood you can lose over such a tiny little cut. I’d give you a hug to make you feel better, though 😀 I definitely think that hugs and physical contact in general have a huge impact on our health, and I know that I always feel better when I get a hug, so I’m all for it!

  3. Honestly to me there is nothing better than a giant hug from my mom or dad or bff when I come home to visit… it really makes everything better

  4. I think hugs are one of the most underrated things. They do so much!!! I certainly feel loved when I give or receive a hug.

    Ouch on the knee. Hope its feeling better too! As well as the calves. The stepmill or stairmaster always get me like that too.

  5. i read this too! hugs really do help health! I think the more the MERRIER we are.
    p.s.
    Hope the knee is better, ouch!

  6. ha I love this about hugs! You make me want to go hug someone right now! (But I think I’ll wait until I go home and hug my cat instead haha)
    Or… do you think we could show Shia this information and get him to hug us? Yes please.

  7. I love hugs! I have never seen or heard about this research but I think it makes complete sense! your post makes me want to go hug at least 4 people right now! haha.

  8. I’m a hugger! They make me happy.

    Hope your knee is okay.

  9. I think when I go home, I will demand a love hug ASAP from the beau. beautiful things.

    Guac around me is doomed… basically, same with any dip. I’m a dippin’ machine, and your plate looks deLISH!

  10. Haha that is totally something I would do 😉

  11. I am such a klutz too! Your grandmother looks so young–good genes!! lol. I love bear hugs and happy birthday!!!!! 🙂

  12. Hooray for hugs! I am a big hugger, so I liked hearing that info 🙂
    Your nana is HOT!!!

    I am a klutz too, so I definitely feel your pain…
    Happy Birthday!

  13. Yay for hugs! they certainly are delightful and make me feel so great and much better
    Sorry about your knee m’dear, but glad it stopped bleeding!

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