Tuesday, November 11, 2014

WTF is wrong with hugs?

So WTF is wrong with America and their fear of hugs?

*After spending too much time on this post, I have reread it and realized my own writing voice wasn't really here. For this post my writing has taken on a more academic feel, more professional yes, but not so much me. I will infuse my voice back into future posts*

America is a country filled with citizens that have mental health issues, who are stressed out, and a population of overweight adults and childhood and adolescent obesity that has more than doubled and quadrupled in 30 years, respectively. So if hugs are so great and they promote strong connections with others, great self esteem, and are have about 5 other positive physiological properties why is the administration so against them?

Slate writer suggests that we should stop giving hugs altogether because you are awkward. I would suggest wouldn't the awkwardness be an indicator of a poorly concreted relationship? Instead of throwing out the hug, how about you work on those relationships and stop being lazy and just pushing people away?

News and examples of limiting hugs

School throughout America and website have been jumping on the "no hug" bandwagon making hugs look like a bad thing for the past couple years. West Sylvan Middle School in Portland, OR is an example of a school that has banned all hugging citing "hormones" as their primary reason for the ban. WTF? Really? Has anyone ever considered that for school age kids hugs are really a physical representation on how connected people are these days and it just makes their connection more real? There are even websites have 20 somethings writing about that hugging is a problem voicing their personal opinions without stating any true detriments aside from being personally uncomfortable, I am uncomfortable seeing guys in khaki pants with blue shirts but I am not going to claim it as news and write about it. No wonder students are turning to sex earlier and using illicid drugs to boost oxytocin and serotonin levels (both benefits of hugging).

Science behind why hugs are great for you. 

Why are the baby boomers pushing their social norms onto other people? Aren't they the ones that had love-ins in the 1960's? One would suggest they want children and adolescents to grow up maladjusted and reliant on them for their whole life to retain the power and control over things they never really had.  The science suggests that children that securely attachment, grow up with better self-esteem, more independent, perform better in schools, have successful social relationships, and experience less anxiety and depression.

To better understand the positive effects of hugs on a body and mind I went to Google. With 54 million pages with information, I picked this one from the first page:


The article suggests that a person would benefit from at least 8 hugs a day in both their mental and physical health. Reading through the benefits of hugs were some pretty positive health benefits for both a person's mental and physical well being. I think I could benefit from some of those health benefits as most of America with all of our chronic disease.

I have considered that I wrote this because counting up the number of hugs I receive on a daily basis I came up short. I thought about over the past year the people in my life that hugged me, then I thought about the number of hugs those people gave me a day, and for the most part I came up about 7 short most days.  Even having a significant other in my life didn't get me any higher numbers, in-fact my friends give me hugs more often and more sincerely. Now there are guidelines for hugging at work.

So if you want to go out and be healthy hug someone you are close to. Create and establish stronger connections with people around you to share the mental and physical benefits and well as sharing energy with them. How many hugs did you have today? Could you benefit from a few more?

Could it be that people have children because of their own low self-esteem developed in childhood? Could it been they have children themselves to feel the love they never received in their own families? It's a bold statement but one worth considering.