If you are unable to sleep without hugging your pillow, we assume that you are familiar with this craving for physical warmth and touch. Craving for a hug can also be described as a longing to embrace your loved ones so tightly that you can convey all your feelings via touch without having to speak them out.
Breakup? There’s an instant craving to hug someone tightly and cry your heart out.
Got a promotion? There’s this surge of excitement in your body that keeps biting at your heart to jump and scream your heart out while hugging your best friend.
Every good news and every bad incident demands a hug. Our body basically works on the warmth and energy, transferred to it by hugs and kisses.
It feels amazing that a single hug can bring peace to an argument between you and your mother, a hug from your partner can simply put your broken pieces back to a place, and a hug from your brother or sister can make you feel loved and revive your mood.
A hug is a complete therapy in itself. It’s the best solution if you have to comfort someone who is sad or depressed.
No matter what life stage you’re at, a hug is always meant to warm you up and melt your heart.
A lot of problems in our lives are created by the feeling of lack of support itself. I myself was once on the verge of depression because I was staying away from my family and didn’t have a close friend to share my feelings too.
In those days, even a broken tap used to make me cry for literally hours.
Then one day my mom visited me and I spent that whole evening hugging her repeatedly and talking like never before.
The whole session made me feel light weighted and like a new person. I felt a rush of energy in myself because I did feel that I wasn’t alone, my family was there for me.
The problems were still there but surprisingly they started to seem casual. So hugs really are a source of energy and comfort for one.
The question here is, why hugs are important? Well, a hug is an unspoken language to say, ” you’re important, you matter”, and “it’ll be alright, don’t worry.” Embracing someone helps that person relax and feel at ease. The interesting fact is that there’s scientific backing to this statement too.
Why hugging feels so Good? – What happens?
There are thousands of touch receptors under human skin that send instant notifications to the brain, via neurotransmitters, whenever you’re hugged.
The brain then processes whether the hugger is a pleasant person or not and releases hormones accordingly.
If the person you’re hugging is a family member or boyfriend or best friend, the brain releases relaxing hormones that instantly gives you a feeling of comfort.
Here are some effects of a hug on a human body, explained in terms of medical science.
Oxytocin balances Blood Pressure
Oxytocin is a hormone that acts as a neurotransmitter. It has a lot of nicknames such as cuddle hormone, the love hormone, love drug, etc.
The reason why this hormone has these nicknames is that it is released as a result of physical yet pleasurable activity.
A hug or cuddle causes the release of oxytocin which brings a decrease in heartbeat and stress hormones.
You start to breathe slowly and all of your tensed muscles become relaxed thus reducing your overall blood pressure and tension.
Thus a hug makes you feel calm and relaxed by bringing your blood pressure to a balanced point.
Dopamine reduces Anxiety
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is released in reaction to a pleasurable activity.
It can best be described as a feeling of ecstasy after your favorite action.
That favorite action can be anything ranging from sexual activity to eating your favorite food.
So when you hug your favorite person, your body releases dopamine and thus creates a sense of safety and satisfaction.
Not only that, but it also gives a sense of perfection and happiness, and thus helps in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
In short, it relieves stress and anxiety.
Dopamine and Oxytocin both are also known as Pleasure Hormones because they’re released in reaction to a happy or comforting activity.
Hugs make your Heart stronger
Whenever you’re hugged by someone you cherish, the touch receptors under your skin immediately send a notification to your brain which then releases Pleasure Hormones.
The release of pleasure hormones also brings down the Cortisol level in the blood.
The decrease in Cortisol, stress hormone, also balances your heartbeat and thus helps boost your heart health.
The Vagus Nerve
When a person touches you, the pressure receptors of your skin are activated. When you say that you get a weird feeling, which runs throughout your body, it is the game of pressure receptors.
These receptors give fuel to the already lit fire in your vagus nerve. It is like adding the perfect amount of fuel or sometimes even extra, to light up all the feelings within you. I mean, can you even imagine that a small hug can actually ignite you?
Yes, it does, but we actually never thought of the process through which it happens, right? Who has time for that!
Why does a good feeling emerge then?
The vagus nerve is responsible for a lot of important functions in a human body, for example regulating blood pressure, etc. a great feeling emerges as the vagus nerve starts working perfectly or sometimes a little bit more than just perfect.
This happens more aggressively for those who are hugged by their partner for the very first time, it goes to the next level of feeling just plain good.
How many hugs do I need for one day?
Research shows that one needs a minimum of 8 hugs a day to live a normal life and mind that, it’s only to live normally.
If you want some growth and more positivity in life, you need more hugs on a daily basis too. It’s just as the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.”
Research has also shown that people who get more hugs from their beloved people are more likely to be happy and stress-free.
A hug is a universal source of comfort and peace for people. If you’re a parent, you must’ve noticed that if you hug your child often, he talks with you more animatedly and often initiates a hug.
If, however, you’re often busy with your job and are unable to hug and kiss your child frequently he’ll eventually become distant with you.
Psychology says that a child needs more hugs and kisses than a grown-up. Psychologists also say that “the more you hug and talk with your child, the greater is his mental and physical growth.”
And the magic of a hug isn’t only limited to kids. Grown-ups experience it too.
For example, if you’re in a relationship and at an initial level at that, you can always feel the strong pull to snuggle up in your partner’s arms and stay there for eternity.
There’s always a tiny voice in the back of your mind which keeps telling you,
” I’m at home, this is so comfy, I don’t want this moment to end so soon.”
So yes, more than an apple a day, you need 8 hugs a day to function properly and stay full of positivity.
Types of Hugs & What they mean?
Just like we are unable to behave the same around everyone, one type of hug can’t explain every emotion as well.
There are more than twenty types of hugs that are frequently practiced around the world. Here we have discussed the 14 most common types of hugs and their meaning.
While we often talk and think about hugs, we’ve nearly excluded self hugs from our list. A self hug is the best way to boost your confidence and courage.
So what if you don’t have someone to cuddle? You can hug and reassure yourself that everything is gradually going to fall back in place.
It is a gesture of self-love and you should often hug yourself in order to remind yourself that, “I’m important, I matter.”
And since we’re at it, why not talk about hugging pillows? A hugging pillow is the best solution to satisfy a person’s urge to hug someone tightly. If you can’t embrace a real person due to the distance prevailing between you two, or unfortunately you don’t have a boyfriend to cuddle before sleep, there are hugging pillows out there to embrace you with open arms.
There’s a variety of hugging pillows out there in the market, ranging from maternity pillows, heart-shaped pillows, and even the boyfriend body pillow. Some people even go for custom made hugging pillows that are shaped like their favorite person. And if you’re a girl, you can go for giant plush toys as well. Therefore, if you’re not satisfied with a self hug, you can probably try one of them out.
Check out the “Cheer Collection Pillow”
The Back Hug
Out of all types of hugs, this is my favorite one. In this type of hug, a person hugs you from behind while his arms either snake around your waist or hold your hands. This hug states a feeling of longing and love for you. It shows that the hugger is comfortable with, and trusts you.
One thing that I like about this hug is, it makes both sides feel equally satisfied. The one hugging you feels completed and reassures himself that he can protect you. You practically tucked in his arms is a sense of protection that person feels for you.
On the other hand, the one being hugged (take yourself for instance), feels a sense of security as well. A gut feeling that ” I can rely on this person. I’m loved and he’s here for me.”
This type of hug is a gesture of comfortable love. And if you receive it from your man, accompanied by a kiss on hair or shoulder, trust me he’s fallen for you deeply and passionately.
A prolonged or simply long hug is an extension of emotions that makes you keep holding the opposite person for a longer period. It is one of the best hugs you can get from your beloved people because it has an underlying meaning i.e “I miss you and don’t want to let you go.”
A long hug is often a symbol of long-term relationships and love accompanied by respect.
A long hug is a kind of hug that only close people can give to each other such as parents, siblings, best friends, and a partner.
Also, a long hug is a way to express your inner feelings too. If someone hugs you for a long time, it might be his way to say that he’s sad or not okay. If the person to hug you for a longer time is your partner, you can safely assume that he’s madly and deeply in love with you and wants to stay closer to you.
This is an intimate and romantic hug that is only reserved for couples. Mostly it’s a girl who makes a move in this hug by straddling her partner’s lap. However, the moment is intimate enough to be kept in private.
This type of hug is a way to express hidden desires and often ends up igniting your partner’s intimate desires too.
You actually need a lot of trust and love before hugging someone like this. So, until you’re sure about your actions, don’t give anyone this type of hug. Because not only it exposes you, but it also gives way to the other person’s lust as well.
There’s however, another meaning of this hug.
I think this hug is an innocent act of seeking comfort from your partner by trying to leave the minimum air between you two.
A strong or tight hug is an all-time favorite type of hug for a lot of people. It’s a display of deep affection and enthusiasm. In this type of hug, a person hugs the other with all his force, as if trying to transfer his own energy to the other via this same hug. To me, it’s a feeling of my heart being refilled with love when someone hugs me tightly. It’s as if the other person tries to fill your heart with unsaid feelings and emotions by squeezing you strongly in his arms.
A tight hug is a symbol of romance and longing. It is often given by family members, best friends, or boyfriend/girlfriend.
6. Side Hug
Also known as ‘buddy hug’, a side hug is a comfortable gesture between friends or family while posing for a photo.
People often do this when they’re in a good mood or are good friends. However, if there are kisses involved from the other side e.g. on the cheek, there’s definitely something fishy going on and this hug isn’t just a buddy hug anymore. Maybe the other person is trying to convey his feelings for you as a love interest via this buddy hug.
Well, there’s always room for new things, right? So maybe…..
However, more often, if you receive this hug from your guy friend, it means he only considers you a good friend.
Just like the title shows, a bear hug is embracing someone while wrapping your arms around that person like a bear. It is considered a cute, lovely, and protective hug. Its perfect example could be a parent hugging a child.
A lot of people use it to display their desire to protect you. It’s as if they want to engulf you in themselves so no one could see you or hurt you.
It is a strong kind of hug and if you receive it from your people, consider yourself lucky because not everyone is ready to protect you these days.
London Bridge Hug
This type of hug is only used as a formality. It’s mostly practiced by politicians and diplomats. In this kind of hug, only your upper bodies meet for a brief time while your lower parts stay away, thus making a bridge.
People do this type of hugs when they’re merely trying to be polite to each other and are acquaintances.
Eye to Eye Hug
This hug is practiced by people in love. In this type of hug, your arms are on your partner’s shoulders while your hands rest behind his neck. On the other hand, your partner’s hands stay on your waist.
This is a romantic hug where you can see into each other’s souls while being able to feel the closeness and by leaning a little forward you can kiss each other.
It’s also known as a romantic dance hug because frequent couples dance while hugging eye to eye on blissful occasions.
This hug is meant to show deep affection and connection.
Now, this hug is only reserved for couples and romantic partners. As the name suggests, in this type of hug, two partners hug each other in a way that one’s hand is in the other’s back pocket. Yes, now you see why it’s strictly for couples. The hug can be mutual or from one side too.
Only people who are deep in love and comfortable with each other can hug this way. It’s a sign of comfort and positive possessiveness.
Couples often hug this way while posing for a photo.
A quick hug is just as it sounds, a very quick hug. Its interpretation is, however, quite complicated. For a lot of people, a quick hug is an expression of detachment and formality where two people greet each other only for the sake of formality.
There are no emotions involved and the hug ends immediately.
On the other hand, a few people think that it’s a way to show someone that they’re important.
For example, you’re in a hurry and have to leave immediately but you still go for a quick hug with your partner. It’s because he’s important and even if you can’t hug for a long time, you still hug him.
This hug is a symbol of one-sided relationships. In this hug, one partner hugs the other with all his might while the other doesn’t even lift an arm to hug you back. It’s just like hugging a ragdoll, who neither can appreciate your feelings nor respond. If you’re often at the receiving end of a ragdoll hug, you seriously need to reconsider your relationship.
This kind of hug is a characteristic of friends. Three or more people join to hug each other mutually as a way to express companionship, support, and happiness. This kind of hug is popular in sports.
A cuddle is not a hug like our other types of hugs. A hug is simply two people embracing each other for a specific amount of time. The average time consumed in this type of hug is 3 seconds.
A cuddle is, however, a different thing.
It is a series of hugs and kisses without letting your hands go off that person.
This kind of hug is mutual and mostly given to a partner.
The cuddles bring a comfy feeling and a sense of being loved.
Since it’s a special type of hug, you can’t give this hug to just anybody. A person has to be important if you can’t help but cuddle with him.
How to Hug good?
There’s no special technique to hug someone good. As long as you’re being sincere and using your heart, every hug is a good hug. There are, however, some things to keep in mind while hugging a guy or a girl.
Not every hug is meant for everyone
Yes, you need to know that not every hug is meant for everyone. You can’t give your friend a straddle hug, it might be awkward you know. And if your friend is from the opposite gender, you may want to get ready to face a disaster of misunderstandings leading you two to either end up together or part ways. So, one basic thing you need to realize is the meaning of a hug that you’re going to give someone.
How to hug someone who’s not your partner?
If you have a friend of the same gender as yours, any type of hug is fine as long as it’s not too romantic. People from the same gender are often relaxed around each other and if they’re your best friend, you might even go for hugs that are specified for couples. Because let’s be honest, when you’re best friends, there’s no room for misunderstandings. Best friends often go to such lengths that a normal friend can never reach.
If the person you’re hugging is not your friend but a colleague or a distant relative, a side hug or a quick hug is enough.
And if you’re trying to flirt with someone who’s only a friend yet, you may want to go for a flirty hug by putting your weight on the opposite person in a playful manner.
How to hug a boyfriend?
If I say that guys aren’t picky in hugs, I’m right about it. Unlike we girls who give a lot of thought to every little and sometimes useless detail, all that matters to a guy is the feeling behind the action. Sure, if you give a straddle hug to your boyfriend he’ll be more than happy. But he’ll be equally happy if you give him a back hug or an eye to eye hug. So for a boyfriend, all that matters is a hug.
How to hug a girlfriend?
Girls are usually more detail-oriented and if you’re at an initial level of relationship, every hug that you share has a meaning for them. So you may need to be careful with the hug you give her. A girl, however, loves a back hug and cuddles. It gives her a feeling that she’s loved and wanted.
A hug or a loving touch is food for the heart. A person always needs reassurance that he’s loved and always wants to be appreciated.
So, all we want to say is, hug often and get hugged often. It’ll not only make you happier but also help someone get rid of the depression they’re facing.
Be it your family, friends, or partner, make sure that you hug them often because it makes them believe that they are loved by you and are important.