When you give a hug to someone, have you ever paid attention to the way that you FEEL while giving it? Have you ever tried to notice if you’re tense, uptight, resistant in some way? Not fully relaxed?

I know I was when I first started paying attention to this.

In Brazil, people are big huggers. Or maybe it’s just something we do here at the hostel together. There’s a lot of hugs that go around.

Not just your normal hug either. Long hugs. Ones that continue for 15+ seconds.

When you take this long of a hug, you have the ability to relish it. Relax into it. Feel the embrace of the other person, and feel how you’re doing the same for them.

I’ve noticed that I’m often somewhat uptight for the first breath or two of the hug. As I sit there however, I’ll breathe into it. Relax into it. Scan my body for tension or resistance of some form.

It’s something I never noticed about myself. A subtle way of resistance. A barely noticeable feeling that I’m not quite comfortable.

It also varies from person to person. Some people I naturally relax into, whereas others I’m a bit more rigid. It helps me to understand my relationship with that person.

Being from the US, I’ve now noticed how quick our hugs are. How abrupt. At first it felt awkward to hug someone for this long. It felt strange to hug and hold. To not be thinking about letting go, but instead relishing the moment of being in the embrace of another person. The warmth of the hug.

Now I’ve grown to love it. I try to extend my hugs as long as I can. I breathe into my hugs. I take three to five deep breaths, each time letting go of tension or resistance in my body. Focusing on how I can help others do the same as well.

Take long hugs. Feel yourself as you do it. Try to notice tension and resistance. Relax into your hug. It will teach you a lot about you comfort with people, and more importantly, yourself.

Be a warm teddy bear, giving wonderful hugs to everyone you come into contact with. It will fulfill your life in ways you can’t imagine 😃  

Thoughts? Similar experiences? Let me know in the comments below!

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