Plenty of couples spend time, energy, and money trying to fix relationship problems, increase intimacy, or simply kick things up a notch in their relationship.
Well, there is a free way to do all of the above that is often overlooked and underrated:
Yes, hugging helps all of the problems listed above because when done as a regular practice (and in the right ways) helps couples via the release of oxytocin.
Oxytocin has some really awesome side-effects, including:
- Increasing feelings of bonding and comfort
- Decreasing levels of cortisol (i.e. stress relief!)
- Increasing levels of sexual interest and arousal between couples
Now, to get these awesome benefits you first must learn how to hug in a way that releases oxytocin and feels good to both partners.
Here’s some guidelines to do just that:
- Hug for at least 10 seconds (count Mississippi’s or make that 20 fast counts), hugging briefly doesn’t give the same benefits.
- Hug in a way that supports you and your partner… that is, don’t lean into them to the point where you would fall without their support, and don’t be so distant that all but your arms are touching. A good hug embraces both people (the self and other) and may take some practice to master — but is totally worth it with someone you feel safe with (and hopefully that someone IS your partner).
- Do this at least once a day. Some couples report getting a lot of benefit from doing this first thing in the morning and then when they meet with each other again in the evening.
I challenge you to try hugging this week and see if it helps your stress levels go down and increases your feelings of generosity towards others. If you don’t have a partner, don’t dismay — you can also do this with a close friend you trust or a family member. This challenge is pretty cool because it doesn’t just benefit you, but also your partner. Also, you may want to tell them what you’re up to before you do it so they’re not too caught off guard. 😉