Science says to hug your child for 15 seconds at a time. Or more! Easy, I tell myself… I love to hug my kids. I could hug them all day long. (I lie down with them at night just for a little extra one on one time, too.)
Now… do they want me to hug them for 15 seconds? Yes & no. Two of my kids would let me hug them for 24 hours a day and two of them get antsy after 5 seconds. I simply tell them “Hugging is good for you and it makes me happy… just let me hold you a little longer.” and they do.
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Yes… Science says to hug your child for 15 seconds at a time:
Neuroeconomist Paul Zak recommends at least eight hugs a day to be happier and enjoy better relationships.
Psychotherapist Virginia Satir said: “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”
According to Mercola.com: “A 20-second hug, along with 10 minutes of hand-holding, also reduces the harmful physical effects of stress, including its impact on your blood pressure and heart rate. This makes sense since hugging is known to lower levels of stress hormones like cortisol. But research suggests there’s even more to it than that.
According to mail Online: “The skin contains a network of tiny, egg-shaped pressure centers called Pacinian corpuscles that can sense touch and which are in contact with the brain through the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve winds its way through the body and is connected to a number of organs, including the heart.
It is also connected to oxytocin receptors. One theory is that stimulation of the vagus triggers an increase in oxytocin, which in turn leads to the cascade of health benefits.”
Guess what? Even a 10-second hug a day can significantly improve your health.
Shekar Raman, MD told Huff Post: “A hug, pat on the back, and even a friendly handshake are processed by the reward center in the central nervous system, which is why they can have a powerful impact on the human psyche, making us feel happiness and joy… And it doesn’t matter if you’re the toucher or touchee. The more you connect with others — on even the smallest physical level — the happier you’ll be.”
The kicker? 75 percent per people said they wanted more hugs from friends & family. Why not? It even reduces stress. Hugs encourage your body to release oxytocin which is released by the pituitary gland to help you handle stress.
So… today, try to hug your kids for 15 seconds. Do it at least four times today. You might have a 1 week old or a 17-year-old… hug them either way. Don’t stop just because your kids are older.