Hugs – Improve Health, Increase Happiness and End Conflict With Hugs

FREE HUGS. What image comes to mind when you read this phrase? What would you do if someone approached you with a sign saying “Free Hugs”? Imagine what it would be like to give and get free hugs. What effects would these hugs have on you and others? Could hugs be used to improve relationships? Improve health? Heal emotional wounds? Change politics? Create compassion and understanding? Here’s my story about free hugs and their affects.

The “Free Hugs” video (You can find it on inspired a group of 20 people in Oaxaca, Mexico, (where I live) to go out and give free hugs. We weren’t affiliated with any social, political or religious group. We were going out to give “free hugs” because we liked the video, because the people in Oaxaca during the political conflict that existed in 2006 needed a hug, and because it resonated with something deep inside of us.

We gathered together with our signs “Free Hugs” or “I’ll give you a hug,” then walked down the main pedestrian walkway in Oaxaca City to the Zocalo (Central Square). At first I felt strange just like the looks people gave me when they saw my sign. Who was I to be giving them a hug? How would they react?

I gave hugs to anyone I encountered: kids, parents, couples, singles, young and old walking down the street, workers in shops, street vendors, teachers, politicians and more. To give hugs to complete strangers is a unique sensation. There is an awkwardness and distrust that appears at first, and then shifts as the hug transpires. Yet, each hug was special. Some people would smile and walk by. Some people wanted a hug but were too afraid to receive one. Others would hesitate then shyly or uncertainly receive a hug if I went up to them. Some hugs were tentative, shy and uncomfortable, others were light and free. A few people came to me with arms outstretched. One woman called me over asking for hugs for her and her friends. Some even gave a kiss on the check. Many hugs were deep, intense, enveloping and loving. Some hugs were filling needs for touch, for compassion, for understanding. Others were recharging depleted energy and receiving acceptance to those feeling beaten down or misunderstood. Other hugs were for fun. Looks of gratitude came, smiles, tenderness, softening and joy. A connection formed as we touched. Every person, whether receiving a hug or only observing, smiled. This impressed me. What a transformation!

I was changed in that that 2 hour period I gave hugs. I received hugs, not only gave them. I too was being touched physically, mentally and emotionally. I could feel my heart opening. I asked myself when the last time I received hugs for two hours was. I couldn’t remember one time. I was being touched and cherished during those hours of hugging as I was touching and cherishing others. I felt recharged, energized and happy. I made heart contact with people.

This experience was recorded in the memories of the inhabitants of Oaxaca in photos in the newspapers, conversations on the radio and personal conversations by those who gave and received hugs, and those who only heard about it. This “touching” experience (no pun intended) is a wonderful sign of the value of hugging. People were impressed and delighted with the positive effect it had. It is a beautiful experience to give hugs to total strangers. It reminded me that we are ONE, all part of the family called humanity.

Hugging can be very healing. It is different than other energetic healing modalities because hugging is something that anyone can see, feel and experience. I love energy work, but many people haven’t grasped how energy work based on spirituality plays out in the physical world. Hugs bring the spiritual and physical worlds together in a delightful fashion. These hugs were energy that became tangible. They made spirituality tangible. I highly recommend it.

What could we heal with hugs? Could we heal a hurt, the pain from a sarcastic word, loneliness, sadness, fear, anger, hate, despair, illnesses, and conflicts? Wouldn’t you prefer to give a hug instead of responding with anger and rejection? How much conflict could you resolve by giving hugs? Maybe we can’t heal all wounds with a hug, but it sure is a nice place to start. Go ahead; give yourself a hug each day. Your body will thank you for it. Hug a friend, parent, spouse, partner, neighbor, child or pet. Hug someone when you feel good and especially when you don’t. Go ahead, give it a try. See how it feels. See how your hugs affect you and those who receive them.

Go to my website to receive my gift to you, an EFT script and audio for peace in English or Spanish. Click on the following link to view it and/or download it. Click Find the Light Within
to enter the site. For English click on the icon EFT Scripts/Audios, for Spanish click on Escritos/Audios de EFT.
Let’s spread peace by creating it within each one of us and then sharing that peace.

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