The Importance of Hugs
How You Can Give The Perfect Hug (Once Social Distancing Is Over)
Ask someone if they would be open to receiving a hug and aim to hug for a minimum of 20-seconds. Ideally you would do a left ear to left ear hug so that you get the benefits of a heart to heart hug which is even more powerful than a regular right ear, front to back or sideways hug.
I don't know about you, but I always feel better once I get a loving hug. There is also the benefit of the hormone Oxytocin which is released in the body.
Hold on Tight
A hug is more than a simple snuggle, because great hugs involves a bit of a squeeze. When we squeeze each other, we provide deep pressure. This pressure is detected by receptors and sends a signal of safety to the autonomic nervous system. This turns down the stress and anxiety we often and calms the sympathetic nerve, otherwise known as the fight or flight response.
What is Oxytocim?
Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter and a hormone that is produced in the hypothalamus. From there, it is transported to and secreted by the pituitary gland, at the base of the brain. Oxytocin causes a reduction in blood pressure and of the stress hormone norepinephrine.
How Many Hugs Do We Need?
Family therapist Virginia Satir said, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” While that may sound like a lot of hugs, it seems that many hugs are better than not enough.
So, how many hugs should you have a day for ideal health? According to science, we should have as many as possible if we want to reap the greatest positive effects.
Unfortunately, most people — are touch-deprived. Many people live solitary or busy lives with reduced social interaction and touch especially during these Covid times.
Also, in many countries the social conventions often push people not to touch others who aren’t directly related to them. However, it seems people could benefit a lot from a an appropriate touch or hugging others a bit more often.
So, if you want to feel better about yourself, reduce your stress, improve communication, and be happier and healthier, it seems that giving and asking for more hugs is a good place to start.
If you feel nervous about seeking out more hugs, start by asking for them from friends and family members closest to you first.
Science proves that regular hugs with those closest to you can have especially positive effects on your brain and body.
Hugs Can Help Reduce Anxiety and Fear
Scientists have found that touch can reduce anxiety in people. Touch can also keep people from isolating themselves when reminded of their mortality.
They found that even touching an inanimate object — in this case a teddy bear — helped reduce people’s fears about their existence.
Hugging your pet is also a good option for those living alone or not able to ask for hugs.
Personally, I am looking forward to the time when we can run our Free Hug events again at Level 1.
I made the most of an opportunity to catch up with the Honourable Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of NZ at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast this morning.
I also met her in person last Sunday at our Free Hug event, as she and her partner Clarke walked by on the Wellington waterfront, it had taken me by surprise to see her but I quickly regained my composure, and asked her if she wanted a Hug and she said 'SURE', and I gave her one of my best hugs.
It seems unreal that our Prime Minister, possibly one of the only PM's in the world who still makes time to enjoy a walk on the waterfront and who mingles with the people without much fanfare. Yes she had security with her but it was all very understated.
With the elections are coming up in a few months, my vote will certainly be pointed towards Jacinda Ardern and the green party led by James Shaw. I had always voted National, but this year I am already tired of hearing the screeching coming from the seemingly dis-organised National party.
I have also taken some time to reflect on the effect of the Covid-19 outbreak that affected us in New Zealand but much less so than many countries, and on just how lucky we were to escape the worst of it.
During our isolation, which seems like forever ago now, listening to the daily updates from our compassionate and articulate Prime Minister and her team, I am reminded of how incredibly versatile and resilient we are, and how for most of us here in NZ, life is largely back to normal. Of course there are exceptions with zero international travel and some job losses across the country, we have been incredibly lucky to only a have a small number of deaths from Covid-19. We have so much to be grateful for.
I ponder on why that was - my conclusion is that in part it was the way that Jacinda Ardern and her team including Dr Bloomfield managed the news coverage to our nation. For NZ the message was clear and simple "Stay Home and Be Kind" and this was a hugely different neuro-linguistic message to what is being expressed by many leaders in other countries, where from a neuro-linguistic standpoint, the messaging been primarily focused on fear, death and isolation. Maybe the world truly has something to learn from New Zealand.
Coronavirus “Fear or Calm?”
As we read the news around the Coronavirus COVID-19, talk to our colleagues, family and friends some of us are feeling so overwhelmed, so gripped by fear that we are not thinking clearly.
Please know that we have the ability to react to this situation in several ways. We can follow the herd and continue to stock up like a famine/plague is descending upon us, stocking up with toilet paper and other necessities in a state of total fear or we can take a deep breath and calm down.
We have a choice with how we deal with this pandemic in a more helpful way.
Begin by absolutely acknowledging any fear and/or negative emotions you are experiencing fully. By bringing awareness to how we feel, we can choose our next steps with more rational clarity.
Do we really want to stay in fight/flight or in elevated stress hormones (high cortisol and high beta brainwaves), as if we are being chased by a lion and are running away from an attacker for hours, days, weeks or months? Hopefully not because it drains our immune system and stops us making balanced choices. When we are in a prolonged state of high stress, we shut down the Neocortex part of our brain which helps us to make rational decisions and instead we use the Reptilian part which helps us focus on immediate survival like animals and not like normal human beings, we are able to make rational conscious choices if we re-focus our attention.
What can we do about this?
We can decide that we will stop looking at the news feeling fearful and instead with an attitude of managed concern which is a mental and emotional state that can leave us informed but not infected and debilitated by the virus.
Returning our attention to the good in our lives, focusing on being or staying healthy, being happy, being aware of our thoughts and returning to more helpful and positive thoughts when we find ourselves returning to fear-based thinking.
The problem with focusing a large part of our attention on the virus is that fighting it, talking about it, feeling it, thinking about it, increases the likelihood that you will get it because when you focus on the unwanted aspect of something in an effort of pushing it away from you, it comes closer to you because what you give your energy to, you bring to you. It is irrelevant whether you want it or not.
If we deeply believe that we are healthy, that we will continue to stay healthy and laugh off the fear, seeing it as unnecessary and unhelpful, we will more than likely stay healthy. Our immune system is not as strong and does not continue to regenerate health and repair when we are in a heightened state of fear. It shuts down to focus the body's energy on survival.
By realising that and consciously changing our state we can come back into alignment. Using the following SUGGESTIONS will help. We want to get back into low beta brainwaves so that all parts of our brain are working coherently (Neocortex, limbic and reptilian).
My suggestion is to look after yourself and your loved ones by -
Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water
Eating citrus fruits or take high-quality Vitamin C supplements daily
Continuing to eat healthily
Get outside into the sunshine for 30-minutes each day
Going for a nice walk, bike ride, yoga or some form of exercise as this will increase oxytocin levels and this makes us feel happier
Where possible grounding yourself by going barefoot on the moist grass, or at your local beach every day for a few minutes
Listen to happy and uplifting music
Being grateful for your health and know that we will get through this blip
Taking calm deep breaths for 5-minutes at a time, in and out through your nose multiple times a day.
Imagine counting in as you breath in through your nose for 4 counts, holding for 2 counts, breathing out for 6+ counts. As you breathe in, imagine that you are breathing in through your heart, saying to yourself "I am breathing in health” and on the exhale say in your mind “I am breathing out fear/stress/anger/frustration” or whatever you need to let go off.
This will help to get back into heart and brain coherence if performed several times a day
Meditate daily - bringing your focus inwards. Having a mantra of "Health" in your meditations will help. Know and feel that you are healthy and that you are immune to this virus.
Staying in a deep state of gratitude, happiness and calm.
Repeat the following affirmation many times a day if you would like to - I am strong and I will continue to stay healthy, I am calm and filled with compassion!
Working on being in a coherent heart and mind state as much as possible. Managed concern is ok and continue focusing staying healthy.
Big Hug, Nicole
If you would like to learn more or to book in a coaching session get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org
in I have recently completed my Advanced Practitioner Ho'oponopono Certification with Dr. Joe Vitale based on the work of Dr Hew Len and before him Morrnah Simeona.
Hoʻoponopono (IPA [ho.'o.po.no.po.no]) is a Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. The Hawaiian word translates into English simply as correction, with the synonyms manage or supervise, and the antonym careless. Similar forgiveness practices are performed on islands throughout the South Pacific, including Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti and New Zealand. - Wikipedia
There are four simple steps to the Ho'oponopono method, and the order in which these powerful words are said is not that important as I will explain below.
Repentance, Forgiveness, Gratitude and Love are the only forces at work – but these forces have amazing power.
The best part of the updated version of Ho’oponopono is you can do it yourself, you don’t need me or anyone else to be there, you don’t need anyone to hear you. You can “say” the words in your head.
The power is in the feeling and in the willingness of the Universe to forgive and love.
Step 1: Repentance – saying the words I’M SORRY as you are responsible for everything that is going on in your mind, even if what you think is going wrong seems to be “out there.”
Once you realise and accept that, it’s very natural to feel sorry. I know I sure do.
This realisation can be painful, and you will likely resist accepting responsibility for the “out there” kind of problems until you start to practice this method on your more obvious “in here” problems and see results.
So choose something that you already know you’ve caused for yourself:
Start there and say you’re that you are sorry. That’s the whole step: I’M SORRY. Although I think it is more powerful if you say it more clearly: “I realize that I am responsible for the (issue) in my life and I feel remorse that something in my consciousness has caused this.”
Step 2: Ask for forgiveness – Say PLEASE FORGIVE ME -Don’t worry about who you’re asking this from. Just ask! PLEASE FORGIVE ME. Say it over and over. Feel it, Mean it. Remember your remorse from step 1 as you ask to be forgiven.
Step 3: Gratitude – THANK YOU Say “THANK YOU” – again it doesn’t really matter who or what you’re thanking.
Thank your body for all it does for you. Thank yourself for being the best you can be. Thank God. Thank the Universe. Thank whatever it was that just forgave you. Just keep saying THANK YOU.
Step 4: Love – I LOVE YOU This can also be step 1. Say I LOVE YOU. Say it to your body, say it to The Creator of All That Is, or God. Say I LOVE YOU to the air you breathe, to the house that shelters you. Say I LOVE YOU to your challenges. Say it over and over. Mean it. Feel it. There is nothing as powerful as Love.
That’s it. The whole practice in a nutshell. It is very simple and amazingly effective.
When I get upset or stressed and if I am aware that I am being triggered in a moment of time, for example, if one of my children is doing something I am unhappy about, or where a driver is driving in a way I don't like and if I say these 4 magical statements of "I am sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you" in whatever order works at that time in my mind and heart several times in a row, the negative or stressed energy that I was feeling completely dissolves and it can take less than 60-seconds to do so.
I so love using this principle.
If you would like to learn more come about this or other modalities which I am trained in,
make an appointment.
Phone my clinic room at Capital Sports Medicine in Wellington on 044995732 or
I also have several of Mabel Katz books on Ho'oponopono if you are interested. Check out my online shop. https://www.nicolewijngaarden.com/store/c11/Self-Help-Books-For-Sale#/
Free Hug Events NZ
We started the Free Hug Events after I was talking to a friend who said that she had attended a similar event in Sydney and she was feeling on such a high from it. I thought it could work here in Wellington.
It was very easy to get a group of volunteers together and our first Hug event was such a HUGE success!
We gave out approximately 1500+ hugs over a 2 hour period.
It was Heart Opening, Inspiring, Joyful, Powerful, Loving, Epic, Amazing... Words truly don't do it justice.
We are doing this to raise mental and emotional health awareness. Hugs are a primary love language and need of this 'physical touch' is often not being met, either in personal relationships or at work. This was highlighted by the amount of people we gave hugs to.
We are running monthly events up until Christmas here in Wellington and are also doing one in Auckland on Sunday 24th November. If you are keen to join us a a volunteer please get in touch.
Level I Energy Codes® is a two-day weekend seminar teaching the work of Dr Sue Morter of The Morter Institute of BioEnergetics® and author of The Energy Codes. This event will be led by Energy Codes® Master Trainer Goethe Krishnamurthi.
TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE
Level I Energy Codes® centres on guiding participants toward seeing the symbolism in their history, experiencing alternative ways of viewing their “story,” and determining what vibrational medicine is and how to use it every day to dissolve conflict, stress and the need to “control” life.
It combines indigenous cultural traditions with Eastern and Western practices in a renewed way, allowing for an uplifting and enlightening perspective of the Human experience.
Using vibrational feedback from the physical body, Energy Codes sheds light on limiting beliefs, thoughts and emotions that have unconsciously jaded our experience of full potential and creativity. Participants are exposed to the concepts of quantum science in highly experiential processes in order to actually “feel” the differences energetically.
PRACTICAL AND ACCESSIBLE
In this event, you will learn to:
* Make distinctions between goal setting and perceiving the purpose of life.
* Address ego development and dissolution from a quantum perspective.
* Embrace fear and befriend doubt.
* Reframe the past to empower the future.
* Remove subconscious interferences to achievement and manifesting.
* Understand the bioenergetics of the chakra system and how to use it.
Praise for the Energy Codes®
"When you apply these practical and effectively proven tools, you will heal your mind, your body, and your reality" (Dr. Joe Dispenza, New York Times bestselling author of You Are the Placebo)
“[A] valuable 7 'codes' exercise program that enables you to fully express your creative magic in manifesting your life. A virtual scientific treasure map for finding health, happiness, and love at the end of the rainbow.” (Bruce H. Lipton, PhD, cell biologist and author of the bestselling The Biology of Belief, Spontaneous Evolution, and The Honeymoon Effect)
“ A truly holistic view of health by focusing on the body’s dynamical and interconnected energy systems, including the role of the soul’s purpose and the power of certain key movements to radically shift energy. Take a daily dose of the seven principles in The Energy Codes and enjoy a powerful prescription for living in radiant wellness and harmony.” (Lynne McTaggart, internationally bestselling author of The Field, The Intention Experiment, and The Power of Eight)
To ensure your seat book now:
100 Day Gratitude Challenge
Are you up for joining us for a 100 Day Gratitude Challenge?
We will post in a closed fb page I have just set up!
The intention is to refocus our energies from our stresses, frustrations, sadnesses and focusing on gratitude, joy and appreciation for 100 days and seeing the transformations in our lives.
It's free to join, so come and be part of our wonderful community.
Tag friends who might like to join or who would benefit.
I look forward to seeing you on the inside.
Click the link to join https://www.facebook.com/groups/2058947431079264/
Holding Love in Our Hearts
As I sit in my warm house, my family and I are a long way away from those affected from the violence in Christchurch, New Zealand. Still we sit in shock, in grief, wondering how this could have happened in our beautiful country. As a family, we have been talking about the suffering of those touched by the violent acts of hatred we wonder what we can do to help?
What Would Love Do?
The one question that springs to my mind is what would love do?
I think that this powerful question is a key one. What can we do?
We can choose to right now and going forwards to be more compassioning towards ourselves and others. This hating of others is absolutely the opposite, most unconstructive direction we can choose. The people filled with hatred have closed off their own hearts. Rather than focusing our attention and energy on those who have wronged others, how about instead refocusing our attention on being the most loving version of ourselves that we can be?
So, open your heart, share your emotions, cry, scream, feeling everything that you feel right now, sitting with it, allowing your tears, your emotions and all your pain to surface, and then allowing your love to shine through. Give yourself the gift of keeping your heart open, this is in itself an act of love.
We need to look after ourselves, this includes our mental and heart health before we can help others.
Maybe then give a loved one a heartfelt call, give someone a hug, and help someone in need, whether they are affected by the violence in Christchurch or not. Let's come together in loving intention.
Let's make a joint intention - "My intention is that I am going to be more loving to myself and others today".
Let me know in the comments below your feelings on that statement, you are of course vey welcome to make up your own loving statement and share that as well.
If you need support and want to talk you are welcome to call me.
Sending you love
For many of you, I know that the days leading up to next week will be madly stressful and busy with Christmas shopping, juggling work and children as well all the usual festive preparations. If you are struggling, remember to take some time out for yourself.
Options may include:
To book coaching:
Call - 04 499 5732 or 02102625148
Email - email@example.com
If you or a loved one, are:
Personal Growth is not just for you - in order to help you grow, I continue to further my education and I have just gained my HeartMath Coaching Certification which is very exciting.
I am part of the integrated sports clinic of Capital Sports Medicine. They are one of Wellington's oldest and most respected clinics and offer a diverse range of services; Physios, Sports Massage, Sports Nutritionist, Sports Doctor, Podiatry, Hearing and now Coaching - http://capitalsportsmed.co.nz/home.aspx
To book your coaching session:
Call - 04 499 5732
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Capital Sports Medicine
Adrs - Level 5, 187 Featherston Street, Wellington CBD
If you are interested in beginning your meditation journey, I now offer downloadable guided meditations which are available for purchase from my website shop.
1. NLP Study & Exam Mediation
2. Heart Focused Meditation
Click on the link here to purchase https://bit.ly/2LdSuB9
I also offer Gift Vouchers for those of you who may be interested in giving someone you love or care about some time with me as part of their personal development journey or in the run-up to Christmas for yourself.
To buy please call the clinic or myself or send me an email to organise.
Enjoy the sun and be sun-wise. Personally, I am not a great believer in sun-screen, I think that 20-30 minutes in the sun every day is more than enough, after that, I think that it's wise to cover up and stay in the shade, where you can still enjoy the heat and look after your body. You will of course know what's best for you, and I wish you a relaxing and happy Christmas and New Years.
Happy Holidays and Safe Travels!
I was very fortunate to attend the first Auckland Progressive Workshop with the world famous and very charismatic Dr Joe Dispenza.
The 2 1/2 day event based in Takapuna, on Auckland's North Shore was incredible. Listening to Joe explain the neuroscience, the extensive research that he and his team of scientists have been undertaking and hearing the large number of accounts the previous students who have trained with Joe have experienced while doing his meditations was mind-blowing.
In order to attend this Progressive workshop you have to do the Stage 1 online course called the Intensive Workshop, and then either attend or complete online the Progressive Workshop, before being able to take part in a profoundly life changing 1 week advanced workshop somewhere in the world. His Auckland Progressive workshop sold out quickly, as did the Advanced workshop on the Gold Coast which he flew to directly after this event.
I am very keen to attend an Advanced Workshop, and I can highly recommend his work. It is engaging, mind opening and life changing. I am very, very grateful.
There is so much magic and profound healing happening through consistent and powerful meditation.
If you aren't already meditating regularly, I recommend that you start today. Put your heart and soul into each practice. If you want your life to change for the better, decide right now to make a new habit, one that includes living in the 'NOW' more than in the past or future, with love and gratitude.
Turn your attention inwards through meditation, and on the journey you may just come out a new, less stressed, happier and healthy you.
Watch this space as I continue on my journey with Dr Joe's meditations.
For more information about Joe's work please head over to https://drjoedispenza.com/
Nicole Wijngaarden, Relationship | Mental Health & Wellbeing Coach Wellington, New Zealand