Today I had a totally different blog written and ready to post. However, my intuition guided me to pivot and share something different. Thanksgiving marks the 4-year anniversary of the last time I saw my son alive. As the years have passed, I am able to recall the day with less pain and tears while remembering the good times we had together.
My son was an incredibly good hugger. I mean it when I say incredibly good. He would approach me with a big smile and arms wide open. He would throw his arms around me and pick me up off my feet and spin me around. He would then put me down and hold our embrace. I could feel his heart beat, his strong arms and our connection. It was true love between mother and son. It was something I enjoyed and looked forward to each and every time we saw each other.
I miss his hugs. Others do too! When I talk to his friends, they vividly recall his hugs – just like he did with me. I can’t replace his hugs, but I can focus on giving them and receiving them back. I hug and think of my son! What an amazing way to honor him.
A hug is physically connecting with another person. It can help reduce stress by showing support. As someone who is grieving extra support is so appreciated and needed. A hug can reduce fears. It can boost heart health. It can slow down your heart rate. It can help communicate with others. It can improve your mental health.
Hugs are important to your health and working through grief because too often the physical connection is lost. I have even heard there is a certain amounts of hugs you should receive/give per day. Four hugs per day for survival, eight per day of maintenance and, 12 hugs per day for growth. I can tell when I haven’t received my daily dose of hugs. I have this longing for connection and want to be supported.
The optimal hug is connecting heart-to-heart. Most of us hug with the right side of our bodies going to the right chest. A true heart-to-heart hug is putting your left upper chest to their left upper chest. This is where your heart is located. Let your chests touch and hold the hug. If you can manage to hold the hug for 30 seconds, you will feel the other person relax and so will you.
It may take practice to get to the point where you can hold a hug for 30 seconds. It is well worth it. Your physical health and mental health will love you for it.
As you go through the rest of your Thanksgiving Day, and the upcoming holiday season, count how many hugs you receive and see how much better you feel when you hug someone. Work your way up to 12 or more hugs per day! This is one type of medicine that you cannot overdose on.
May you find peace and happiness is giving and receiving a simple hug.
I am grateful for those extra long hugs I received today.