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Hugs Do More Than BringJoy-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: November 22, 2020

I had not had a hug or human touch for almost two months. It was now the middle of May 2020 in the thrust of Covid when I agreed to meet up with a friend to do some volunteer work. As I got out of my car, my friend walked toward me, looked around to make sure no one was watching and gave me a big hug. Not realizing how deprived I was for human touch-I hung on and cried.

We are made for human connection. 

Covid is disconnecting us in ways that are emotionally and spiritually harmful. Physical distancing is also causing relationship break-ups, family neglect and pain and for those who live alone-loneliness and horror. I know we need to be wise and follow the rules of our country, but somehow, we have to find ways to reach out and hug. A month ago I met another friend who reached out her arms, then we both put on our masks and embraced. Safe but so good.

We need human touch.

Psychology Today tells us that: “Your skin is your body’s largest organ. It is also the fastest growing; it regenerates at an amazing rate—you sport a new coat of it every month. Skin acts as our body’s defense against the external world, as well as our brain’s collector of external data. The tips of our fingers, the soles of our feet, and our lips are designed to pick up the most precise pieces of sensory data, and have intense concentrations of nerve endings just for that purpose. And a hug provides complex responses that warm our heart and make us feel better.”[1]

When we are stressed our bodies react to the harmful chemical called cortisol. But when we hug, it unleashes Oxytocin, which is a neurochemical that helps us build trust, and makes you feel, well, warm all over. Plus it makes our bodies healthier.

 Oxytocin makes our bodies healthier

In the Bible there are 36 “one-another” statements. We are created for one-another, to bear each other’s burdens, pray and encourage each other and more.  We are 9 months into Covid and we have to do whatever we can to preserve our hugs and “one-another’s.” If we don’t, how will we rebuild trust and love?

God help us all and give us wisdom as we navigate through social and physical distancing, so that it won’t shred the fibre of our souls. Who do you think needs a hug today?

[1] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/lifetime-connections/201606/the-undeniable-power-simple-hug

Posted in: all alone, anxiety, cortisol, Covid-19, Families, Friendship, hugs, loneliness, one-another, oxytocin, physical distancing, social distancing, we need each other

7 responses to “Hugs Do More Than BringJoy-by Heidi McLaughlin”

  1. Denise says:

    This post is a great reminder especially to those of us who live in families surrounded by people every day. Physical touch is so important. Thanks for a great post Heidi.

    • hmclaughlin says:

      Thank you for reading my blog, I appreciate it. It’s always good to understand how different things affect us in life. Thank you for sharing. Joyfully, Heidi

  2. Teresa A Moyer says:

    You asked: Who do you think needs a hug today? ME, ME, and ME. I am single, live alone and no longer work. The last time I even had real skin to skin physical touch by another person was on the 2 days I was in the hospital in June for my Gastric Bypass surgery. And those touches were not the same as you can imagine as every time I needed to be touched it was for a blood draw or IV’s. Other than that the nurses/Doctors kept 6 ft away. I have gotten a hair cut but still not the same, still not real touch. I will never take for granted the gift of touch and hugs! I am so ready to kick 6ft apart to the curb LOL.

    • hmclaughlin says:

      Oh Teresa, I do understanding! Hugs are so necessary in so many ways. I’m kicking the 6 foot distancing to the curb with you. Heidi

  3. Margaret Gibb says:

    I understand and totally understand. No hugging, and suspicion of people is not good for the well-being of people or a free society. Your blog is right on! Thank you!

    • hmclaughlin says:

      Thank you Margaret for reading my post. People who don’t live alone don’t understand the need for human connection and touch. But i know you get it because you are also a hugger, and I love that. Be ready the next time I see you. Hugs…Heidi::))

  4. Joy Fajardo Villegas says:

    Great reminder that our physical touch is an expression of our love and care to people we love especially in the family. May God find us one. 🙏

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