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3 Reasons Why You Should Give a Hug to Anyone and EVERYONE

3 Reasons Why You Should Give a Hug to Anyone and EVERYONE

I’m taking part in a Kindness Challenge and I’m out to give hugs.

It’s crazy, it’s challenging, it’s fun, and it’s just simply AWESOME.

I’ve been hugging anyone and everyone. I’ve been writing thank-you notes to people I appreciate. I’ve been able to make people smile and I know I’ve been making a difference in the lives of others.

This is what life is about!

Over the past few days as I’ve been taking part in the challenge, I’ve come to learn just how powerful a simple hug can actually be. We often feel its inappropriate to give a hug, but you know what, I gave a bank teller a bit of a hug the other day!

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The bank teller helped me for about 20 minutes while I cancelled my credit card insurance (another LifeHack tip, DON’T get credit card insurance). After the painstakingly long process and discovering the fact that I will no longer have to pay a premium each month, I simply went around the teller’s desk and gave her a nice, big, juicy hug.

SHE LOVED IT!

It’s such a simple but powerful form of human touch.

There are so many benefits of hugging. Let me outline the 3 most important reasons you should hug anyone and everyone in countdown order.

3)   Hugging Reduces Illness

Hugging is one of the best methods of easing depression. Not only that, it reduces the risk of heart disease, relieves stress and can make you feel calmer.

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Studies have shown that hugging can lead to lower blood pressure, and reduces the risk of heart disease. When we hug someone, a hormone called oxytocin is released (otherwise known as the ‘love hormone’!). This helps to reduce stress and makes us feel calmer.

Ultimately, if you’re feeling down, stressed or anxious, go give someone a hug and feel the instant change in your mood!

2)   Hugging Deepens Your Relationships

When you think of people who have hugged you, how do you feel about them?

I’m sure you feel pretty good!

Hugging releases a suite of hormones including oxytocin (as above), serotonin, and dopamine that lead to feelings of happiness and love. What else do you need to feel good when all you need to do is simply hug someone?

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Not only do you make yourself feel good, but also you are making the other person release all the same hormones of happiness.

Hugging builds trust and can deepen your relationship. It shows that you care and it provides comfort for the other person.

1)    Hugging Can Change the World

A hug could be the exact thing that someone needs right now. Without even knowing it, you could be changing the life of that person.

They may have had the worst day possible, and you have been the angel that lights up their day.

You can change the day, the week, the month or the life of another person simply by giving him or her a hug.

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When I gave the bank teller a spontaneous hug out of the blue, her face lit up in a huge smile and I’m sure it made her day. Maybe she went home and told her family about it and she may have even had the courage to give someone else a spontaneous hug. Hugging pays forward.

What’s the best part about it? Hugs are free and they can be given anytime.

Who have you hugged today?

Featured photo credit:  A happy couple in love via Shutterstock

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Brendan Baker

Brendan helps people who feel stuck doing work they don't like start to make a difference and an income doing what they love.

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Last Updated on July 3, 2020

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

2. Focus on your breath

Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

3. Get organized and purge old items

A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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6. Smile more

Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

7. Don’t worry about the future

As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

8. Eat real food

The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

9. Choose being happy over being right

Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

11. Make use of filtering features on social media

You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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12. Get comfortable with silence

When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

13. Listen to understand, not to respond

So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

14. Put your troubles in a bubble

Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

15. Speak more slowly

Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

16. Don’t procrastinate

Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

17. Buy a coloring book

Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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18. Prioritize yourself

You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

19. Forgive others

Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

20. Check your expectations

Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

21. Engage in active play

Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

22. Stop criticizing yourself

The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

26. Manage your money

Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

27. Stop trying to control everything

Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

28. Practice affirmations

Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

29. Get up before sunrise

Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

30. Be yourself

Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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