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  1. #1
    Kochin's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Get some hugs!

    Primal Fuel
    People seeking health pay a lot of attention to diet, exercise and sleep. And rightfully so. What we eat, how much we eat, when we eat, how often we eat... What exercise we do, how long for, how frequently, in what environment... When we sleep, how long we sleep, how deep we sleep, what we do before we sleep and how we wake up... All perfectly valid, important things to factor in when optimizing our health as "human animals". But we often neglect another part of our lives entirely.

    Humans are social animals. We were made to cooperate beyond breeding and child-rearing. We are designed to live in a complex social environment, with leaders, followers, workers, soldiers, craftsmen and even serfs and slaves. We were designed to each serve a purpose and fulfil a task. But we ignore that that alone doesn't a "social animal" make. Indeed, that structure, on its own, is a HIVE. And humans were not made (neither by nature, nor by the gods, nor by evolution, nor by ourselves) to be hive creatures. We are SOCIAL animals. And social animals, on top of the aforementioned, have frequent physical contact. They rub, nuzzle, pat, rest, headbutt, paw, nibble, lick, groom... Some even hug and kiss. And this isn't just between breeding pairs or parents and children. Their entire dynamic, as social animals, is based on communication, a huge amount of which is physical and mostly involving touch. But humans seem to have moved away from that.
    We live in a socially cold world, where we don't know most people we see and are continually slightly on edge due to a natural fear of unknown humans. We shun public displays of affection. We send kids to schools where a teacher giving them a comforting hug or a pat on the shoulder is sexual harrassment. We teach boys that contact is for sissies and girls that their bodies are private temples, never to be touched. Many people fear even becoming too physically close with their friends as, in this overly sexualized world, we perceive any physical attention to be sexual or inappropriate. Many people don't share living space with family or a partner, meaning they very rarely get physical contact. Some people don't even get a hand rested on their shoulder or a palm to the middle of their back when talking informally with friends, teachers and co-workers. Everything is cold and professional.

    And yet, we often ignore this side of ourselves and don't seem to understand how crucial it may be to regain control over it. Almost every form of friendly contact releases oxytocin, endorphines and other "happy hormones", making you feel joyful and comfortable, leading to a greater trust of that person, as well as empathy toward them. All these things improve social interactions in any environment, professional or social alike. Kissing, nuzzling and hugging rubs some of our own pheromones onto the other person and some of theirs onto us. Whilst humans perceive pheromones far less than other animals, we do still appear to pick up on them slightly and our subconscious appears to still use pheromonal cues in social interactions. This enhances the bonding experience, meaning we're more closely bonded to people we hug and kiss often, like very close friends, family and partners.
    Hugs and other affectionate forms of physical contact are also almost instant de-stressors. When you're hugged, kissed, held... the dumping of "happy hormones" actually counters stress, anxiety and depression faster than medication, time alone, binging or even crying it out. We were meant to be comforted, to share our woes and put them behind us. This also means that physical contact can take the edge off intense emotions, like rage, passion or panic, not removing them entirely, but calming them enough (into anger, joy or fear) so that you can take a calmer, more rational approach to your situation.

    We didn't build all we have by staying one metre away from everyone, refusing hugs from age 12 upwards, jumping when touched and calling a pat on the shoulder "harrassment". I believe that, as humans are social animals, we should act like such. Just as we factor in different aspects of diet, exercise and sleep, in our quest for optimal health we must also factor in human contact. Try and get at least one moment of friendly, non-sexual human contact a day, to start with, and build up from there.
    It could be: a hug, letting someone brush your hair, letting them arrange your collar/tie, a kiss, a hand on your arm or back, cuddling up together, massaging or being massaged, rubbing the back, thigh or arm, holding hands...
    And (as long as appropriate) it doesn't matter who you do it with. It may be a partner, parent, close friend, sibling, child... Doesn't matter. Find someone to give you a hug and enjoy it.

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    Kochin's Avatar
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    *bump*

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    paleo-bunny's Avatar
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    Well said.

    Big hugs to you, from not so far away in Bristol!
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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    Kochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paleo-bunny View Post
    Well said.

    Big hugs to you, from not so far away in Bristol!
    Bristol? Damn! I lived there not four months ago! Wish I'd met you then. I hope your Christmas is going well.

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    paleo-bunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kochin View Post
    Bristol? Damn! I lived there not four months ago! Wish I'd met you then. I hope your Christmas is going well.
    No way! Whereabouts did you live? I live in Bedminster.

    Christmas is not going the best ... hope yours is going much better than mine is :-)
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paleo-bunny View Post
    No way! Whereabouts did you live? I live in Bedminster.

    Christmas is not going the best ... hope yours is going much better than mine is :-)
    Your comment is so spot on.

    This is maybe more important than diet and exercise. I think it trumps everything.

    It is sad to see how many people are alone and suffering from who knows what, because they are not getting that loving touch in their daily (and I mean daily) life.

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    Kochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paleo-bunny View Post
    No way! Whereabouts did you live? I live in Bedminster.

    Christmas is not going the best ... hope yours is going much better than mine is :-)
    I lived in Stockwood, Clifton and finally Southmead (not as bad as expected, but not nice). Do you ever shop at Ruby&White butchers? They told me they could do pure meat sausages on demand if I'd buy a couple of kgs. Sadly my freezer was too small for that.

    I celebrate the Solstice and try and casually visit a few family members here and there over the holidays. Add both together and there's less stress. Lots of essay-writing the rest of the time, mind. The main annoying thing is that turnips and parsnips go up in price nearer the actual date. My fiance and I are planning a good meal on the Solstice itself and a "meat feast" later on, maybe with some friends.
    I hope your Christmas improves. You should be enjoying the season.

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    paleo-bunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richard View Post
    Your comment is so spot on.

    This is maybe more important than diet and exercise. I think it trumps everything.

    It is sad to see how many people are alone and suffering from who knows what, because they are not getting that loving touch in their daily (and I mean daily) life.
    A weird coincidence is that I dated a guy from Kochin a few years back. Met him on the Thekla boat on Bristol Harbourside.

    Not sure my comment is spot on ... however, I enjoy making connections.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

  9. #9
    Kochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richard View Post
    Your comment is so spot on.

    This is maybe more important than diet and exercise. I think it trumps everything.

    It is sad to see how many people are alone and suffering from who knows what, because they are not getting that loving touch in their daily (and I mean daily) life.
    Not everything. Diet and exercise are key to a healthy body and a well-loved person with an unhealthy life will be far weaker than someone who exercises but lacks the human contact. But the physically healthier person will be less emotionally stable and likely have a weaker immune system than if they DID get contact.

    Unhealthy Body, No Love < Unhealthy Body, Loved < Healthy Body, No Love < Healthy Body, Loved
    It's key to being the best you can be and key to being human, basically. You can be healthy without being optimal.

  10. #10
    paleo-bunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kochin View Post
    I lived in Stockwood, Clifton and finally Southmead (not as bad as expected, but not nice). Do you ever shop at Ruby&White butchers? They told me they could do pure meat sausages on demand if I'd buy a couple of kgs. Sadly my freezer was too small for that.

    I celebrate the Solstice and try and casually visit a few family members here and there over the holidays. Add both together and there's less stress. Lots of essay-writing the rest of the time, mind. The main annoying thing is that turnips and parsnips go up in price nearer the actual date. My fiance and I are planning a good meal on the Solstice itself and a "meat feast" later on, maybe with some friends.
    I hope your Christmas improves. You should be enjoying the season.
    Thanks. I lived in Clifton for a while, in Princess Victoria Street, above Entelia which is now a Strada restaurant. I don't eat meat, only fish.

    Southmead sounds pretty grim.

    Do you visit Stone Henge for the solstice? My parents live close by.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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