I am not a research scientist or a heart specialist, but I know that hugs do a heart good! They soothe and calm and spread warmth throughout the body, and especially to the heart. They slow down a racing heartbeat and reduce the physical and psychological pain of heartache.
I truly believe I cannot give or receive too many hugs. And I cannot have too many reasons for hugging. There cannot be too many occasions when they are appropriate. The spontaneous urge to hug serves us well. It enables us to share the real power of gentle human touch—physically expressing care for others.
Years ago, I remember carrying a special coupon. It announced “Good for one hug, freely delivered.” I kept that coupon a long time, and I redeemed it often. Each person I gave it to accommodated me with a genuine hug. No one objected to me cashing in my coupon. Of course, I didn’t give it to people in busy-doing-something-that-can’t-be-interrupted moments. My heart just knew when to bring out the coupon.
It was wonderful!
One unknown day, my hug coupon vanished. Hopefully, someone saw it, picked it up, and still regularly uses it. That’s an uplifting thought.
Now, I intentionally put myself in situations and places where hugging is natural—no coupon needed. My neighbors and I greet each other with hugs, and folks in my congregation don’t shake hands to say hello or goodbye. We just hug—young and old and in-between, and what a blessing that is. Please share something you know about hugs and the heart.