Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

February 16, 2012

A Reason to Hug

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

How times have changed!  About hugging and embracing, I mean!  And to be more specific — how it has changed among men, especially!

Not too many years ago it would have been the source of gossip . . .  the hugging of two men!  Men never touched men.  There would be a handshake, but that was the extent.  Men didn’t always go out of their way to shake hands.  It might have just been a lifting of the head backwards — chin coming up — as an acknowledgement to another man.  But, today, everywhere — even among athletes and  hard core laborers — there will be an embrace.

Hugging and embracing is seen everywhere . . . everyday!  It can be at a sporting event, in Walmart, at church, or anywhere two friends greet one another.  And it is not limited to men, of course.  Ladies are even more demonstrative about it!  And such overt expressions of hugging . . . and even a kiss on the cheek is seen between men and women!  What a different world!

Too bad we were not doing this back in my high school days — I mean the hugging between men and women! But regretting is not my purpose in this blog.  It is really one of celebration.  The world is better with this touch of friendship.  Reaching out and touching someone with a hug is a way of saying you care . . .  and it makes both feel better.  It overrides any inner feeling where one is hesitant to speak to another.  But when the two greet one another with a hug, the words that follow in conversation are always with a smile and interest in the other person.

Personal lives are better as a result of this touch — in fact, it is perfectly healthy to  touch in such a manner.  Touch is important.  Some in psychiatry say that hugging is great therapy.  There is a promotion among many professional counselors and medical professionals who recommend hugs as part of your daily routine.  These professionals believe hugs contribute strongly to our well-being.

It is said by some that we need 4 hugs a day for survival — I am not sure how they define survival.  If they mean just staying alive, then hugging is critical to life itself!  Those professionals say that we need 8 hugs a day for maintenance.  Again, no definition of maintenance, but I am assuming they mean staying healthy.  12 hugs a day, they indicate, will produce growth.  Again, is growth in mental health, physical, or both?

The explanation has to do with the  release of oxytocin into our blood stream.  Now, hear me, I don’t know what I am talking about — just repeating what I was told!  But it was said that hugging  releases the oxytocin which can help protect us from heart disease.  Again, I don’t know . . . but if true . . . then hugging is healthy.  Even if it was only to aid in a healthy heart . . . I am for hugging because it makes me feel good!

I believe much of today’s hugging is the result of the Hippie Movement.  Oh, they liked to hug!  The hugging with that generation increased their social network.  That is a good reason also for us to hug today . . . and the larger your social network, the more happiness one discovers.  An increase in friends is always healthy.  And hugs create a bond that a mere smile or handshake will not always accomplish.

Since thinking on this subject, I have observed several types of hugs:  The gently leaning forward and cheek to cheek hug; the embrace with an arm on the shoulder or around the neck; the side to side hug where the heads just touch; and then the well-known bear hug where the larger person lifts the other off the ground.  I guess I could list one more — not that I have seen it in public —  but that is when you hug yourself.  You know, get up in the morning and put your arms around yourself.

As you participate in hugs, or observe people hugging, you will often note a low sound coming from each . . . like a hum!  I remember when I hugged my accordion — squeezing it — a sound always was heard!  Truly, hugging brings an expression in many ways!

Yes, times have changed.  Hugging is beneficial.  Hug your spouse.  Greet your friends with a hug.  Even greet a new friend with a hug if it seems appropriate.  Even ask . . . or say, “I am a hugger.”  You will sense if they give you permission.  And if you need to get  your recommended 12 hugs a day all at one time (that would be 84 for the week), come to our church!  Hugging abounds!



1 Comment »

  1. Love it Pastor Jolly! BTW, I didn’t know you played the accordian…………or do you just hug it? LOL Hey you’re right about the hugs, especially in our church. I get lots of real bear hugs from my Dody. Sometimes they result in an adjustment of my neck or back……that is a double pleasure that feels so good!

    Keep them coming, you and Mrs. J are just so huggable!

    Thank you for these uplifting blogs. You make my day when I read them. And I read them several at a time, sometimes even reading them over again!

    Comment by doriswhite — February 16, 2012 @ 6:53 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: