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Expert: You Should Be Hugged At Least Eight Times a Day

Expert: You Should Be Hugged At Least Eight Times a Day

We could all use a hug right now. Or maybe 12.

Virginia Satir, a world-renowned family therapist, has said, “We four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”

That’s a lot of hugs, and that’s also way more than most people actually get. We polled the RELEVANT audience on Twitter to see how many hugs the average person gets. And let’s just say, it’s not enough.

Over half said they only get 1 to 5 hugs a day, which according to Satir, means they’re just barely surviving. Over a quarter said they don’t get any hugs at all, meaning only 17 percent of people are really reaching their hug goal. Ouch.

With the holidays coming up, there’s a good chance you’ll be visiting friends and family you haven’t seen in a while. This give you the perfect opportunity to catch up on your hug count. But if you need a little convincing one why we should embrace people, here’s three reasons why hugs are good for you:

1. Hugs can increase your feeling of safety. Hugs emotionally “feed” us by helping us remember that we’re not alone and letting us feel like we can trust others more. Have you ever noticed how relaxed you feel after a nice, big, bear hug? Hugs remind us that we are connected to one another.

2. Hugs remind you that you belong. Hugs often boost oxytocin levels, which leads to less feelings of loneliness, isolation or anger. An embrace has the power to to make you feel like better about yourself and your life around you.

3. Hugs prove that you matter and can boost self-esteem. Extended hugging (20 seconds or more — and not just a side hug) boosts your serotonin levels, causing you to feel happier and more positive overall. Additionally, hugging is a shared experience. You receive affection while giving it to someone in return.

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