I recently attended the screening of a very cool documentary called Connected. An ambitious undertaking, filmmaker Tiffany Shlain has presented some interesting ideas and factoids in a unique visual way about the history of who we are and the connections we have to each other from the past, present and where we might be headed in the future.
One of the best tidbits I learned was that if you hug someone for six seconds or more, a dose of the feel-good hormone oxytocin is released.
Many of you who have worked with me individually, in a group or have talked to me after one of my workshops or seminars know that I’m a big hugger. In addition to hugging my clients and audience members, I tend to hug strangers after a meaningful conversation, and even in more professional situations, say after a meeting, which may or may not be kosher, but I can’t help it; I often randomly hug friends, family members and co-workers because I somehow sense they need one, and I will occasionally request one myself (especially from a super-good hugger, like my bro!)
Why? I actually never thought about it. It’s just always been a natural extension of who I am, the work I do and my love of people in general. If I had to intellectualize it, perhaps it’s about sealing an interaction in a “Yes, I see and hear you, you see and hear me, and we can show mutual love, respect and care for each other as human beings in the most tangible way.”
And let’s face it, who couldn’t use a hug now and then? We should be able to give and receive hugs freely, but for those of you who need to justify your request, there’s a scientific explanation, because hey, who wouldn’t want to get a little shot of some naturally feel-good feelings?! So forget about the economy and the internet, because the true currency of connection is the HUG, and the good news is that it’s available worldwide and abundant in infinite amounts.
Feeling a little stressed or simply need a boost to brighten your day? Instead of reaching for that Twix bar or beer, have no fear, don’t you pout just say hello and hug it out!