A study led by psychologist Dr. Karen Grewen, at the University of North Carolina, found that there are health benefits to hugging. They discovered that when you are involved in a hug lasting at least 20 seconds, your body releases a “bonding” hormone called oxytocin. As this hormone increases in the blood, it has been shown to have the following positive health benefits for your body.
- lowers your blood pressure;
- lowers your heart rate;
- reduces the level of stress hormones such as cortisol (which is produced by your adrenal glands when your body reacts to stress);
- improves your mood.
You could play Musical hugs in class
You will need: a song CD with fun music for children
You need to do this in a space where the children can move around a little.
In class: Play the music and the children dance. Stop the CD and the children find ONE friend to hug (show the children that you mean gentle hugs!). They say: Hello (or any other greeting) + the name of the child they are hugging. You can make a rule such as every time the music stops, find a different person to hug.
“A hug overcomes all boundaries. It speaks words within the mind that cannot be spoken.”
– Author Unknown
Send someone a surprise hug: