I came to ask you for a hug, not advice
If there is a gesture that makes us present, it is a hug. If there is a gesture that can comfort us, it is that someone surrounds us with their arms and squeezes with the strength we need. Because hugs open the pores of our skin and allow us to make ourselves vulnerable in a protected space. A hug is an ecosystem in which danger or risk is prohibited from entering and in which we can therefore get rid of our armor.
Hugs allow hearts to synchronize, blood pressure to drop, and breathing to slow down. Some people even, if they close their eyes, can see the sea, as if that small shelter were a shell that echoes its own nature.
The study of our nervous system, through neuroimaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance, has shown us that hugs with people we know activate our limbic system a little. A system that is directly related to our emotions. So that these types of hugs, in addition to reducing our levels of stress, stimulate the formation of bonds of trust with the person we embrace.
Do we know how to hug?
Statistics say that we talk more and more, but we touch less and less. That we have more means to communicate with, but less opportunities to transcend words, whether written or spoken. This makes us clumsy with physical reactions, and sometimes we are embarrassed or have to have a reason to justify the contact.
Think about how any skill that is not practiced, especially if it is social, loses its naturalness. With hugs, it’s the same. Do we squeeze? Where do we put our hands? I do not want to make anyone uncomfortable. This is how anxiety is born and the embrace loses all its power. Because we think about it, we do not close our eyes and we simply do it. We feel weird and strange in a gesture that is natural.
On the other hand, you can embrace the body, but you can also hold the hand, gently press the nape of the neck or, if we are at someone’s side, hook our arm through theirs. Children hug their parents with their legs when they climb on their shoulders.
“That’s what people do who love you. They put their arms around you and love you when you’re not so lovable”
A hug is worth a thousand pieces of advice
Such is the power of a hug that is worth a thousand pieces of advice. In addition, unlike advice, hugs always contain the certainty of success because they break walls and create confidence. Also, they allow us to rest. With hugs, in a symbolic way, we let go of the weight of our responsibility for a moment. Thus, when the arms open again life seems lighter.
This is something that rarely happens with advice. Much advice is not worthwhile, or maybe we already know the answer. Nobody needs to tell us. What we need is strength to be able to put these measures into practice. We long for a place to rest before leaving for the summit, and at the same time we want the feeling that someone will take care of us and that they will look for ways to help us if we lose our way or take too long to return.
There are hugs that transmit strength, others that transmit peace. What they always transmit is love. A love that in turn makes us stronger and sensitive inside.
Perhaps the day will come when technology allows us to embrace people who are on the other side of the world. However, at the moment it is not possible. That is why relationships with people in our close environment are so important. They have a great power that those who are far away do not have, which is the ability to embrace us.