When did you need a hug the most?

Hugs: What which hug says about the feelings

Without hugs the world would be a lot less loving. If we hug someone, we feel secure and loved. But not every hug is the same. We'll tell you what you need to know about each hug.

Why hugs are good for us

People need touch to live well. Touch, such as a hug, is essential for human wellbeing. Hugs have a positive effect on us. While hugging, we pour out the hormone oxytocin, which lowers our stress level and thus reduces pain and anxiety. Receiving hugs regularly can also have a positive effect on your health, as it strengthens your immune system and can lower blood pressure. In general, a hug will make you feel valued and your self-esteem will also increase.

People hug each other in a wide variety of situations: to greet each other, while dancing, while cuddling, even footballers and politicians hug each other. Most often, lovers and friends hug each other. Hugs can deepen our affection for one another. In addition, interpersonal trust is also strengthened. Disputes can be resolved faster with a hug, since hugs only evoke positive feelings. Exceptions can be triggered by traumatic experiences in the past.

A hug has a particularly positive effect on babies and seniors. Older people tend to feel more lonely. A hug can remove this feeling for a short time and create closeness to another person. Babies also benefit from physical closeness. Because this not only expresses affection, but also influences the way in which they later deal with stress.

That's how many hugs you need in a day

That's how many hugs you need in a day

A lack of hugs can make you sick, as can a lack of vitamins. They strengthen your character and therefore help you through crisis situations. According to the renowned family therapist Virginia Satir, giving you twelve hugs a day gives you maximum stability and even helps you develop your personality. With eight hugs a day you are fine and you stay stable. You need four hugs a day to survive, because too much loneliness has a negative impact on your viability. Physical closeness is therefore all the more important in order to be productive, vital and happy. However, it does not depend on the intensity of proximity. Even a relaxed hug can increase our wellbeing. Maybe you can encourage yourself to hug more people in the future.

Germany is one of the low-contact cultures. Other Northern Europeans, Americans, Canadians, and Asians also fall into this category. However, there are again numerous differences between these cultures in terms of their sociability. While in Europe and North America a handshake or a hug is common to greet people, in China, Japan and Korea people bow to each other and have no physical contact at all.

In contrast, Latin Americans, Arabs, Greeks, Turks and also some African cultures are among the sociable cultures. But there are also some differences here. In Dubai, for example, physical contact between businessmen plays an important role in successful communication. In contrast, in many Arab countries it is forbidden for women to have physical contact with men in public.

10 different types of hugs

Not every hug is the same. Some hugs have different effects on you than others. While one hug can be very intense, the other may be more aloof. We present ten different types:

The deep embrace

The deep embrace

This type of hug is probably the most common. Above all, very familiar people such as family members, close friends and lovers hug each other in this way. The arms are tightly around the other. The head rests on each other's shoulder. In most cases, the upper body of the person hugging also press against each other. This hug usually lasts several seconds, but can be delayed beyond a minute. If you feel tired, such a hug will make you stronger. But even if you are happy, you can express your feelings with this hug. It is particularly common for people to hug each other in this way when a long separation is imminent, for example before a long trip, or when they meet again after a long time.

The friendly hug

Friends and good acquaintances often use the friendly embrace to greet and say goodbye. The other person is only briefly hugged. The arms touch the other's back for a brief moment. The upper body also touches lightly. In some cases, this type of hug is complemented by lightly stroking each other's back. This will make your hug look even more heartfelt. You usually use this type of hug with friends for whom a deep hug would be too much, but a simple handshake or a light pat on the back would not be enough.

The embrace among friends

You can also hug acquaintances when a certain experience welds you together. It expresses mutual sympathy and appreciation and is expressed by a light pat on the back. Feelings only play a subordinate or no role here. The head and upper body are also kept at a distance. Often work colleagues hug each other in this way.

The passionate hug

The passionate hug has a sexual and erotic component because it usually takes place during sexual intercourse. But also otherwise it is often used by lovers, because it expresses a strong physical attraction. Often not only the arms but also the legs are wrapped around, because you want to be as close to the other as possible.

The comforting hug

This type of hug can be expressed by putting an arm around the other person's shoulder, but also by hugging them deeply. In this way you give the other comfort and show your compassion. It is of particular importance because you help someone who is important to you through a difficult time and are there for them.

The hug with eye contact

This hug is also very intimate, because besides the physical component it also has a visual component. Usually very familiar people like mother and child hug each other in this way. The two put their arms around each other and their faces together. The forehead and nose touch each other. The closeness enables you to look yourself very deeply. However, the upper bodies do not touch. This hug is often particularly loving and strengthens mutual trust.

The romantic hug

Lovers often hug each other and thus express their affection. Usually such a romantic hug is full of tenderness and closeness. Eye contact can also be made with this type of hug. Often the partners caress each other tenderly on the back and kiss each other. The closeness is completely informal and familiar.

The spontaneous hug

The spontaneous hug is usually the result of a violent emotion. This can be both joy and sadness, for example immediately after the good news or the death of a loved one. It can give comfort and share joy, as you give each other support. It is extremely short, but still very intense. In doing so, you are very close to the other and hug them very firmly. It is very similar to the close hug and is, so to speak, a short form of this type of hug.

The hug from behind

The hug from behind

A hug from behind is also very intimate in nature. It can be friendly as well as passionate and emotional. Trust also plays a very important role here, because a hug from behind is initially unfamiliar to many people. However, if you trust each other, this type of hug feels incredibly secure and even protective, because it gives a feeling of security. In some cases, however, the people hugged feel controlled because they are restricted in their freedom of movement. The embrace's arms are wrapped around the other's waist. The head can be rested on its shoulder.

The hug during a dance

This hug is very special because it is very different from many of the other hugs. Music is needed for this hug. One of the two puts his arms around the neck of the other. The latter in turn puts his arms around his waist. The embracing people move rhythmically to the beat of the music, which can create an intimate mood, emotional closeness and even romance.

What the direction of your hug says about you

In addition to the type of hug, the side from which the hug starts can also play an important role and say something about our emotional world. This phenomenon was examined in a study by the Ruhr University in Bochum. For this purpose, over 2500 hugs were evaluated.

Left-sided hug

People mainly hug each other on the left, that is, when their left arm is passed over the other's right shoulder, when emotions are involved. It doesn't matter whether the feelings are positive or negative. Especially when it is a long, intimate hug, such as an emotional farewell and a joyful greeting, there is a hug on the left. This is mainly because the right hemisphere of the brain, which controls the left hemisphere, processes these emotions. These two factors work together in hugs. Men are also more likely to hug to the left, because hugs are often viewed negatively among men, even if a hug is only used as a short, neutral greeting.

Right-hand hug

Most people, however, hug on the right side. This is mainly because most people are right-handed. Because handedness also plays a role in hugs. Emotionally, however, a right-hand hug is more likely to be associated with a neutral state of mind, for example with a neutral greeting.

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