Hugs may bring a lot of happiness. They can make you feel more connected to someone you care about, whether that person is a spouse, a friend, or a child. They can also make you feel happier and more fulfilled by reassuring you that other people care for you. You may feel longing for physical affection when circumstances prevent you from spending time with loved ones. This is completely acceptable because touch is a basic desire. Going without food, especially for a longer period than normal, can have a significant influence on your mental well-being.
There is some good news to be found here. Getting a hug from your loved ones can make you feel much better in no time. Meanwhile, if you truly need a hug while you're alone, why not try giving one to yourself?
We understand. Self-hugging may appear uncomfortable or even ridiculous, yet it is an actual emotion.
Hugging yourself offers a lot of advantages.
Self-hugging, like embracing, has a lot of advantages, so it's a terrific way to show yourself some love.
1. It has the potential to help improve pain relief.
According to a 2011 study, embracing oneself might make you feel better.
Researchers utilized a laser to create pin prick-like pain sensations in 20 volunteers in this tiny trial. Participants reported feeling less discomfort when they crossed their arms (similar to how you would cross your arms when hugging oneself).
According to the scientists, this result is due to misunderstanding in the brain regarding where the pain originates. The pain occurs in one spot, but if your arms are crossed, your brain is confused about where the pain signal is coming from.
While your brain tries to figure this out, it has less capacity to comprehend other information, such as the pain intensity.
If you've ever tried to touch or slap a painful, itchy, or irritated area, you're probably familiar with a similar pain-relieving method. Adding extra sensations to your brain gives it more to analyze, which can influence how your brain interprets your pain level.
Another explanation for the pain recovery linked with hugging might be found.
According to research published in 2015 by Trusted Source, the hormone oxytocin, which is produced in response to calming contact, may have a role in reducing pain.
The release of oxytocin may immediately help in pain relief. According to the authors of the study, this hormone can assist reduce sensitivity to pain by reducing anxiety and panic.
2. It can give you a sense of safety and security.
The value of human connection cannot be underestimated, and social support has several advantages. You are likely to feel comfortable and less alone when someone you care about wraps their arms around you in a hug.
Hugging oneself can help you re-create these emotions of security and warmth. Consider it a temporary solution until you can embrace someone else again.
“You are the most important person in your own health, and embracing yourself might help you remember that. You may take actions to comfort yourself rather than waiting for someone else to give support and make you feel better.”
3. It can help you feel better.
Maybe you've had a rough day or are feeling down for no apparent reason. Perhaps you are unable to spend time with loved ones at this time, and the stress of loneliness is beginning to wear you down.
Touch, even your own touch, helps to relax the body by lowering cortisol (the stress hormone) levels in your body. Sure, a hug won't fix all of your issues, but it can help relieve some of the tension and stress you're feeling.
Taking time for a nice, lengthy embrace the next time you're feeling stretched thin, irritated, or worn out may help lift your spirits and brighten your mood.
4. It has the potential to develop self-compassion.
Self-compassion, like touch, can reduce cortisol levels and promote general well-being.
Is there a method to increase self-compassion? Give yourself a hug, of course.
Hugging, caressing, and physically soothing your body, according to top self-compassion researcher Kristin Neff, PhD, enhances sentiments of love and kindness for yourself.
Self-kindness makes it simpler to accept yourself as you are and to calm yourself after a difficult situation or a mistake. Self-compassion can enhance your overall attitude on life by promoting conscious acceptance and self-esteem.
How to Go About It
Don't worry if you can't quite picture how to embrace yourself. The procedure may appear strange at first, but it is actually rather easy.
You can definitely go for it, just as you would when embracing someone else, but if you need some clarification, these pointers can help.
How to embrace yourself.
1. Fold your arms over your body, ensuring that they are in a natural and comfortable posture. Folding your arms over your stomach or just below your chest, for example, may feel more comfortable than clutching yourself across the chest.
Place your hands on your shoulders or upper arm as a resting place (just above your biceps). Again, go with your instincts. Curling your hands around your sides may be more comfortable than hugging yourself across the tummy.
Consider the sort of embrace you desire. A forceful, passionate hug? Or how about a gentler, more relaxing hug?
Squeeze yourself with just enough pressure to achieve the desired sensation.
Keep hugging for as long as you want.
Some individuals find it relaxing to gently rock back and forth while embracing oneself, so this is something you might want to try.
If you don't feel like embracing yourself, try rubbing your forearms or upper shoulders in a gently massage-like motion.