Episode 199: Challenge #16 – Free Hugs
We create. Everyday we create connection, chaos, possibility, drama, conversation, expectations, money, homes, relationships, works of art, friction, love, stories, or we don’t…
Our power lies in our ability to direct our life story with every choice and every thought.
Welcome to the 21 Challenges – 21 life hacks that have been set up to help you connect, take care of your beautiful self, create possibility, and get out of the dol drums.
This series of podcasts highlights the challenges one-by-one to give you background on why the challenge was included in the 21, a deeper understanding of the concept itself, and ideas on how to implement it. These simple challenges create big ah-ha’s and leave you with some great new tools to play with.
Today we focus on Challenge # 16 – Give Free Hugs…stay tuned for some loving, touching, feeling.
Let’s start out with some wisdom from Oprah. Love that lady. She said, “When you make loving others the story of your life, there’s never a final chapter, because the legacy continues. You lend your light to one person and he or she shines it on another and another and another. And I know for sure that in the final analysis of our lives—when the to-do lists are no more, when the frenzy is finished, when our email inboxes are empty—the only. Thing that will have any lasting value is whether we’ve loved others and whether they loved us.”
During the Covid upheaval touch became a thing carefully guarded. That makes this challenge even more pertinent now because we are all a little touch deprived…. even if you have to get creative.
In a world where we can feel alone in a sea of a million people, the chance to hold another’s hand or to be hugged, can be a gift, an anchor, a place where for that moment you are not alone. For that moment you are joining forces. A hug is a human action that allows us to connect, communicate, and exchange energy in a meaningful way. For however long the moment lasts we are unafraid to touch, and that is a beautiful moment; and important moment. In fact, science shows it’s an absolutely crucial moment that must be repeated often.
In Greater Good Magazine, out of Berkley, an article called, Why Physical Touch Matters for our Well Being said, “The science of touch came of age in the mid-1990s, when two scientists traveled to Romania to examine the sensory deprivation of children in understaffed orphanages. The touch-deprived children, they found, had strikingly lower cortisol and growth development levels for their age group. From the time we are in the womb through our elderly years, touch plays a primary role in our development and physical and mental well-being. New studies on touch continue to show the importance of physical contact in early development, communication, personal relationships, and fighting disease. Although the therapeutic benefits have become increasingly clear, scientists argues that, thanks to no-touch policies in schools and the isolating effects of cell phones and computers, (and now Covid) Americans are touching each other less.”
That makes this challenge even more important.
In that article, they had some specific research on hugging: “They injected a cold germ into these people who were in the study, and those who had more hugs had a better immune response to the cold virus. (So, touch helps us fight disease.) And then [there are] some studies showing that if you get hugged by your partner before a stressful condition like giving a speech or doing math problems, people do better. Performance is better if they’ve been hugged by a partner before the stress.”
In 2016, I found myself in Ohio doing this emotional intelligence training I speak of so often. Let me tell you about my experience setting up a Free Hugs stand.
Tune in to hear that story…
We come programmed to hold onto one another. We arrive hardwired to grasp hands and give hugs, and if we are lucky and wise, we don’t lose our grip.
This challenge can be adapted for Covid by bringing it in to family members and friends you feel comfortable being close to, but the power of touch, with permission, even with people we may not be close to, like those who walked by our hug booth, was amazing, beautiful, insightful, and one of the largest ah-ha moments that unexpectedly showed up for me. It was so fun and interesting to see how people responded.
Take this challenge and then go to the back of the book and record your experience. What was the hardest part? What was the response of others? What did you learn? How did it feel?
If you don’t already have your book: Life – Living Intentional and Fearless Everyday, the 21 Life Connection Challenges, order your book off Amazon so you can get into all the life-hack challenges, or if you have a group you’d like to do it with, we have the new group platform
Thanks for being here. See you in two weeks for the newest life-hack tip. Live intentional and fearless people. You’ve got this!