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 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/
Mental Health Awareness
It's September and the world is talking about Mental Health Awareness - bringing this once taboo subject into the light.
In New Zealand, we have some of the highest self harm and suicide rates in the world. Most recently our beloved ex-TVNZ presenter, Greg Boyed, chose to end his life, just one of the 600 New Zealanders who decided to end their lives in the last 12 months.
It's a sobering thought that our annual suicide rate is twice our annual road death toll. You could well ask "Where are the suicide prevention sign posts, the check points, and the safety belts to make our mental health road trips safer?"
If suicide, attempted or merely contemplated, is the ultimate declaration of unhappiness, then surely it follows that it may have started with a much smaller level of mental dis-ease and discomfort.
Each and every one of us is privately engaged in an ever changing conversation with our inner voice(s), feelings, desires, and thoughts. In fact, formal studies suggest that we have 60,000 - 70,000 thoughts per day, and over 90% of these are similar to the thoughts we had the day before!
We each are constantly, both consciously and unconsciously, comparing our internal mental model to what we perceive to be the real world. When we each detect a discrepancy between what we want and what we have or expect to have, we make the mental choice to accept, deny, or do something about it - and we are each happy or unhappy as a consequence. Unchecked, thousands of discordant thoughts can lead to repeated, self-reinforcing and ultimately destructive feelings.
Fortunately, backed by numerous repeatable scientific studies, proven techniques and tools exist to establish and maintain a healthy, resilient mental state, in the face of the challenges, and the highs and lows that life brings. These approaches can be tailored by each of us, on the basis of what we experience and learn about ourselves, and allow us each to intervene if necessary to adjust the path of self-reinforcing behaviours.
When we each learn to acknowledge and our negative emotions and understand our beliefs around them, we can use proven techniques to build positive feelings and make more coherent and positive choices. We don't need to sacrifice honesty, vulnerability, or privacy to do so.
So, I would like to ask you - Are you or your co-workers experiencing:
My expertise is in supporting people like you, on an individual or group basis, to achieve more and feel better doing so, in and outside of work.
I do so with proven tools and techniques, which you utilise to get to the next level in terms of self-confidence, happiness, and achievement, on a supportive, confidential basis.
Get in touch today for more information!
firstname.lastname@example.org call 044995732 or 02102625148
What are your morning rituals? Are they the same every day? Do you start your day off in a state of stress or in a state of inner happiness and with an intention of gratitude and the decision that you are going to have an amazing day, each and every day?
It is incredible for me to think how many people, stumble out of bed, do the same thing every day, unaware that their inner dialogue has a profound impact on how they feel and how they go about their day.
So let me ask you, are you aware of your thoughts when you get up in the morning? Did you know that scientists have now discovered that we have between 60-70,000 thoughts a day, most of which we aren't even aware of at a conscious level, although they all have some impact on how we behave and interact with those around us.
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THIS?
Bringing awareness to our thoughts and attitudes as we go about the day, from the moment we get out of bed, will help us shine a light on why our lives may be going in an unwanted direction.
Some people find getting out of bed a challenge, and they don't feel up to being loving or kind until that they drink that first cup of coffee or tea, probably feeling stressed about going to a job that they don't really enjoy, working with people that they don't really like or not making enough money to make living easy. Does that sound like you?
Or maybe you are in a relationship where you are feeling taken for granted, you aren't feeling appreciated, you may feel invisible, maybe your spouse makes work more important, or maybe you are worried that your loved one isn't being faithful.
Or maybe, you or your loved ones spend a large chunk of time on your electronic devices, possibly even in the same room, and so you aren't deeply connecting...
Is it true?
As mentioned earlier in this blog, bringing conscious awareness to our thoughts and feelings means we can identify triggers or behaviours that we may have not noticed previously.
We can then ask a question like "Is this really true" to see if the negative story we are telling ourself is actually true.
More than likely the answer is NO. At least having this awareness, we have a choice. We can choose to continue to feel and behave the way we have done up until now, or we can choose a more positive, happier thought or belief.
Which would make you feel better?
How about today you tell yourself that it's going to be a good day.. Take a few moments and say it to yourself, say it with feeling, bring your awareness down to your heart and say it again, maybe even out loud. Say it LOUD, have a laugh. you may just surprise yourself.
Keep your eye on my page for more snippets of wisdom, I will start posting more regularly going forward.
If you feel that getting coaching may help you find a more helpful direction, get in touch with me.
Nicole Wijngaarden - A student of life's magic
Nicole Wijngaarden, Relationship | Mental Health & Wellbeing Coach Wellington, New Zealand