January 21, 2021. World Hug Day. What can one say about the hug? It is probably the most important thing we can give each other… a hug… A sign of love, expression of our feelings…. It relieves us of all tensions, of stress, of anxiety, even of intense grief. It is not uncommon that when something happens to us we need a hug.
It is a sample, apart from love, that someone is here for us, that he supports us, that we can rely on him, that he understands us, that he sympathizes with us, that he will be on our side no matter what happens to us, that he will be on our side to support us.
After all, we shouldn’t forget that a research has shown that with a hug our body exploits an hormone, oxytocin, which is known as the love hormone. It is also proven that hugging lowers blood pressure and helps people get sick less, not to mention the psychological and mental uplift it can offer.
Remember what young children do when they are scared. They ask their parents for a hug, or their favorite teddy bear and hug it to feel better, calm down, take courage, banish fear, feel more confident and safe…
Clinical psychiatrist Harry Harlow conducted an experiment. Two monkeys were made, who took on the role of mother. One was made of wire and had a metal nipple, which fed the monkey milk (food) at all times, thus covering a basic survival function. The other was made of fabric, had a beautifully painted smile and offered with its temperature and softness a suitable environment for physical contact. It was observed that the monkeys that separated from their real mothers, after the initial traumatic period, after being able to control their anxiety and fear, clung to the fabric mother imitating her with the real one and used the wire for a dramatically shorter period of time simply. to meet their hunger.
But the experiment did not end here. Because in a second phase, when the monkeys who grew up with the cloth mother came in contact with other monkeys outside the cage, they showed an anti-social, violent and self-destructive behavior, even attacking their own bodies. Obviously touch was not the only variable that would lead to normal behavior. So it was decided to place a cloth monkey that could swing, and almost normal behavior was observed, while when the monkey was given the opportunity to play for half an hour a day with a real monkey, a completely normal behavior was evaluated. So the time of interactive communication with the newborn should not be determined and described only in quantitative terms but mainly through qualitative characteristics. Let’s not forget that half an hour of play made the difference between the almost normal and the perfectly normal emotionally developed monkeys.
A child who has been hugged grows up as a happy child, as a child who feels worthy as a human being, as a child who feels supported, despite the difficulties he or she may face. As an adult you will have empathy, emotional competence, understanding and acceptance of others. In other words, he will have maturity, tolerance for the difference of others, and inner strength.
Given the conditions with the coronavirus, we do not have a hug as a given, or as we would like … However, it is a good opportunity to reflect on its importance, the importance of showing our loved ones how we feel, that we love them …
For a year now, everything has been different. Let’s do the same for the hug … This year, let’s not give hugs …. Let’s give honesty and emotion …. Let’s talk on the phone with our loved ones … Let’s tell them how much we love them, let’s show them understanding of the problems, let us embrace their insecurities and fears …. Let them show that we are close to them, that there is someone next to them to support them, unfortunately we can not in other ways, such as with a hug, but let them show in every way that we are there, even mentally, even from a distance ….
And as soon as all this tragic situation is over, let ‘s run to them, to our husbands and wives, to our children, to our parents, to our grandparents, to the teachers, to express our love to them and to take the greatest of them a hug that has never existed !!! And I wish we had the opportunity to give a huge hug to those who went missing, or even to those who worked all this time in hospitals to save lives, risking their own and their families’ lives …. Can you imagine the whole world a huge hug ???