Sometimes addiction arises from a need to block out painful or frightening feelings. For many people, alcohol, drugs, gambling and self-harming are somehow ways of escaping from a reality that is too painful. Blocking out the bad, however, can leave you with the good blocked out too. If you never feel anything, that includes good feelings.
One of the most important feelings for our wellbeing is comfort. It’s a word we often use in a critical way (comfort blanket, comfort eating etc.) but comfort is what stops disaster from taking over. When something bad happens, comfort helps us deal with it. (Pushing something away or denying it is not the same as dealing with it by the way!) The easiest way to get comfort is through…..no, not meditation, not prayer, not serious conversation….HUGS!
Reasons to hug:
- You can’t give a hug without getting a hug
- Hugs release oxytocin, the hormone responsible for bonding – they keep us close to the people we care about
- Every culture in the world hugs – this tells us that there is an evolutionary reason for hugging, which is probably to do with emotional security
- Hugs are a powerful non-verbal way of telling people we care
- No other action is as comforting as a real hug!
Dr Feelgood’s prescription: Give AND take one hug per day, and as necessary!
Read Marie Murray’s article on hugging at http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/health/2010/1005/1224280398799.html
Read about ‘Amma’ at