Friday, November 21, 2014

How Much for a Hug?

Do you remember seeing a YouTube video of a man on a busy sidewalk holding a sign offering “Free Hugs”? At first people were skeptical and ignored him. Then a few people took him up on his offer and found it was a bargain. They took/gave a hug, and they cashed in on a surge of serotonin. They replenished their “happy hormone.” (

Everyone needs hugs and touching to maintain serotonin levels, so be eager to hug friends and family—and, even your pets (except fish).

Hugging relaxes muscles, releases tension in the body, lifts the spirit, and can even diminish pain.

I read about a professional cuddler in Portland, Washington, who is building a business based on hugs. Charging $35 per half hour and $60 per hour, she is booked out for two weeks at a time. While this might not be the best or safest idea, it does show how desperate people are to be hugged by someone.

Though the Bible gives us no command to “hug” one another, it is full of people kissing those they love. (Do a search for “kiss.”) And it does give us a command of sorts to “greet one another a holy kiss.” Maybe the next time we go to a church service, we should hold up a sign offering “Free Kisses.” And then, maybe not…

When my kids come home to visit, I wrap my arms around them and hold tightly and hold tightly and hold tightly. They say, “Mom, you give the best hugs!” And “Mom, I miss your hugs.” I like that. I want to be remembered as a good hugger. 

And the best part is that the huggER and the huggEE both benefit. What you give comes back to you. “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

Some say we need eight hugs a day to meet our emotional, mental and physical needs. I have no idea what the magic number is. I want to give/receive as many as I can. How many have you given/received today? How about giving a few more?

1 comment:

  1. comment from a friend who was not able to upload to the site: My grain of sand is that I have had to learn to not only give hugs but how to receive them as well.
    I grew up in a family that did not hug or show signs of affection. When I first became a disciple I was hesitant to let people hug me and would pull away, mostly because I didn't feel worthy of their love. I had to let go of my pride and fear, and because of God's abundant grace I can now freely give and receive love. I am no longer bound by my old self. What a blessing this has been! Thank you Sheila and love you!