المجلس العالمي للتسامح والسلام

Read these lines to discover the benefits of hugging…

By Cecilia Doumit

“I do not feel my mother’s love for me, as if everything is fake, she says she loves me but I do not feel it, she is far away from me, as if there are a thousand barriers between her and I, even though we live in the same house,” says 12-year-old Reina, commenting on her relationship with her mother, who is dedicated to providing her daughter’s daily needs. In fact, as soon as the mother returns back home from work, she prepares her daughter’s food, takes care of her lessons, and so on.

Turns out that one hug lasting for about 30 seconds and repeated four times a day, was sufficient enough to draw away those feelings away from and to convince her mother to satisfy the need to express love and affection for her daughter and for herself.

As a matter of fact, what distinguishes men from other creatures is the way they communicate with one another, and how they express themselves not only in verbal communication but also in the tone of their voices and body language such as sight, smile and touch. The most important thing is that a person needs other people to be present in the course of his/her life, without losing sight of the type and depth of the relationship they have with them. In fact, the presence of one significant person might alienate the existence of ten others, but when the individual drowns into isolation he/she become intrinsically in urgent need for psychological treatment.

The daily pressures that we face, push us to grow gradually more distant from each other. We lose the positive communication with the other; we exchange the necessary words, we live in isolation despite the presence of others around us. Even in small family gatherings, the stillness surrounds everyone, blank and empty stares, smart phones that steal mutual interests, participation and affection, and the result is a physical presence devoid of feelings and real communication.

The importance of communication lies in self-expression and the openness of expressing one’s feelings and impressions and the creation of relationships with others, messages exchanged through words, eyesight, smiles and touching, such as salutations, kisses and hugs.

Hugs are known for embracing, holding each other close, cuddling and taking in one’s arms. It is an ideal way to express feelings and exchange emotions among one another, contrary to what some might think that hugging is limited to those who are in love and/or married. Hugging is not a way to sexual intercourse, in fact, it is the delivery of the soul’s potential to the other, be it to a husband a lover, a son, a daughter, a friend or a companion. The effect of hugging is positive and magical as it eliminates the distances and the pain of separation and improves the health and psychological status. It is also recommended to embrace a doll or a pillow when we feel lonely and tired, and so we can automatically feel comfort and safety.

Here are some general benefits of hugging:
– We feel loved and that the other wants to get closer to us, which increases our self-confidence and our self-esteem.
– It increases the level of the hormone of happiness, joy and spontaneity, which reflects positive energy that we can radiate on others.
– It removes barriers caused by negative problems and events and helps us to forgive and forget.
– It makes us feel safe and stable.
– It makes us feel the love and the emotional bond with the other, gives us stability, security and sufficiency.
– We feel bounty, tenderness and fondness.
– It promotes positive thinking, and shows the interest of others in us.
– It encourages us to talk about the secrets we hide from each other.
– It relieves tension, anxiety, sadness and helps us to relax and sleep.
– It reduces the risk of diseases and health problems associated with stress and anxiety, such as blood pressure and cardiovascular disease and others.
– It has an effect on pain relieving drugs.
– It decreases the number of heart beats.
– It raise the level of dopamine, so we do not get depressed.
– It gives the same level of vitality and energy exactly like the effect you get when hearing your favorite music and practicing your hobbies.

Some may think that hugging has not been adopted for decades and family and social matters have been fine back then; this is true to some extent, but the lifestyle has certainly changed in terms of the decline of family cohesion on one hand, and pressures of life and discrimination on the other.

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