I Want A Hug Strong Enough to Break my Fears
A hug that comes without being asked for, that assails us and envelops us, has great curative powers. Human beings are social creatures strung together by their emotions, and we need daily contact that reaffirms our relationships and makes us feel loved. Loved.
On this site, we talk a lot about the need to learn to be alone, to avoid unhealthy attachment that ties us to people and things to the point where we stunt our personal growth. However, everything has its balance and its reason for being.
We all have the need to be united to something or someone in some way, regardless of how much we resist. We all have wings with which we can fly, but we also have roots that tie us to love, that enrich the relationships that also define us: friends, family, partners, children…
Hugs heal the soul and reaffirm our emotions. They are moments of silence that allow our hearts to beat in unison. And in those moments, fear, noise, and doubt cease to exist.
Hugs: links to love and security
Hugs, like other types of physical contact, form a part of our psychological well-being, as well as our development. While most living beings need this kind of physical contact with which they relate to others, in the case of humans, the need to caress, to hug, and to feel skin-to-skin contact, fulfills many other functions.
Our social brain needs hugs and caresses
When we come into the world, our brain, far from maturity, has not developed much more than 25%. The rest of the structures and neuronal connections will be determined mainly by the first five years of life, in which the style of upbringing will be very influential.
We have to think that during the first few months of life there is no language, and communication is established through emotions, through physical contact, kisses, hugs, and a quiet voice that is caring and reassuring.
If a child is not attended to when it cries, if it is not calmed, rocked, and cared for with sincere love, this will cause it a lot of stress. A brain that becomes accustomed to producing cortisol is a brain that will not develop optimally.
Social isolation, or a deprivation of physical touch during childhood, makes it so that many brain cells do not finish maturing. In turn, less myelin will be produced, which is necessary for neurons to communicate with each other.
This can all result in cognitive delays, as well as social and emotional deficits.
The importance of hugs in romantic relationships
The power of a hug is sometimes more important than words. Nonverbal language directly impacts our emotional world, and romantic relationships are even more special when there’s a lot of physical contact.
Something so simple and basic like a hug provides an immense sensation of fullness, both for the one who gives it and the one who receives it. Hugging is considered to be a gesture that can nourish the brain and support us at any given moment. It has more benefits than food itself.
Hugs are not asked for or demanded. They are not bargaining chips. It’s also worth noting that not all hugs are equal. If they come from a person that loves us and has a place in our heart, our brain will produce oxytocin, a hormone related to well-being and pleasure.
Nothing has more meaning than a hug in moments of doubt or emotional distress, or when we are visited by fear and anxiety.
Feeling enveloped by strength, love, and sincerity by a special person almost instantly brings warmth to a cold soul. It shows us that everything will be okay. That the world is calm.
A hug can alleviate stress, reduce anxiety, and improve our physical and emotional health. A hug can root us to our loved ones.
As I suggested earlier, it’s important to always maintain a sense of self-love and avoid excessive attachment that leaves no space for personal growth. However, at the relationship level, these types of gestures are vital to reaffirm the relationship. We all need to feel secure, to give and receive protection.
At the end of the day, it’s all about two people in unity. So don’t save your hugs for later. Don’t leave them for tomorrow or wait until your partner asks for them.
Practice giving bear hugs with such strength that you stop breathing, but at the same time convey messages like “I support you, I share your happiness and your sadness, and I love you.”
And do not overlook a hug from the heart, from which tenderness flows directly from one heart to the other, and where there is visual contact. A long and sublime hug of pure and unconditional love.
Images courtesy of: Shaun Tan, Lucy Campbell, PEIBEE, Kyungduk Kim