The Healing Power of Hugs


Nadirah Bray



Virginia Satir said, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”

How many hugs a day do you want?

As entrepreneurs, most of us strive for growth in our personal development, relationships and our businesses. You want growth, right? But 12 hugs a day? Right now you may be thinking, “How can I get in twelve hugs a day and from whom?”

You may be lucky enough to be interacting with 12 people a day at home, in your business or while you are out and about. But getting 12 people to engage in a healing hug with you is a different story.

I would say more likely than not people need education on what a healing hug is before you give them one because going from an average hug to a healing hug has more than a few second difference. It has a 17-second difference, to be exact, and that 17 seconds may seem like an eternity at first; it may even be a little uncomfortable.

But I strongly encourage you to be up for the challenge because we entrepreneurs know that change lies just beyond our comfort zone.

Did you know that the average length of a hug between two people is 3 seconds? But researchers have discovered something amazing. When a hug is at least 20 seconds long, there is a therapeutic effect on the body/mind. The reason is that a sincere hug produces a hormone called “oxytocin,” also known as the love hormone. Heart to heart hugs benefit our physical, mental and emotional health in various ways such as strengthening our immune system, building up our self-esteem, balancing our nervous system as well as a strong display of love and support. We more than likely have all experienced a hug with another person and we possibly experienced group hugs, but have you ever experienced the self-love hug?

I am excited to share with you two powerful healing hug exercises.

The Heart To Heart Hug

This exercise consists of six simple steps and you do this hug with another person (a partner exercise).

  1. Making eye contact, approach the person tilted slightly to your right with arms wide open.
  2. Place your left arm over their right shoulder and your right arm around their left side.
  3. Bring the person close to you, aligning your heart with theirs.
  4. Hold the person for 20 seconds, avoiding a pat or rub on their back.
  5. Connect your breath.
  6. Release embrace, make eye contact and smile.

The Self-Love Hug

Inspired by my mentor, Fahtiem, this four-step process is best when sitting comfortably and can also be done standing or lying down. This is a powerful process you do with yourself.

  1. Breathe in deep, open your arms wide and take in all the positive energy around you.
  2. Exhale as you slowly and lovingly wrap your arms around you.
  3. Close your eyes and lay your chin on your shoulder. Nestle your chin in the crook of your neck.
  4. Keep your eyes closed and breathe in and out slowly for at least 20 seconds. I would suggest melting into your embrace, feel the support, connection, comfort and love and stay there until you naturally feel that it is time to open your eyes and release your embrace. You may feel the urge to take in a big cleansing breath, sigh or smile.

It only takes 20 seconds to infuse your life with more love and only another two minutes and 20 seconds to create a sustainable growth in your personal development, relationships and business.

Nadirah R. Bray HHP

Speaker,Author,Actor,Dancer, Entertainer, Instructor,Trainer and Coach. Leading Authority on the Healing Power of Belly Dance. Creator  of well received Goddess In Motion and Bodies in Motion Method. International  multi award winning performer and master instructor.  Host on Workout San Diego and The Talk of San Diego Network. Founder of the Goddess In Motion Institute  Live a life you love, create a business as unique as you are and a legacy that you are proud of. www.goddessinmotioninstitute.com

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