October 12, 2011

The Beauty of Touch

Photo by Ambro

My dad once said that the best thing that retirement homes could do is to put residents in double beds so that they can hug each other and not be lonely. Excellent idea. I bet it would also help defray costs and reduce the amount of medicine people need to take.

I'm in the middle of reading The Happiness Project. Gretchen Rubin's #1 New York Times bestseller is chock full of ways to increase contentedness and her year spent researching satisfaction is inspiring. Happiness really is contagious.

I was particularly struck by what Rubin has to say about hugging. Apparently if we hug for at least six seconds it promotes the flow of oxytocin and serotonin which are the mood enhancing chemicals that promote happiness and bonding. Which kind of explains why some people pull apart before six seconds! It amazes me what scientists have figured out. Six seconds I tell you. That's all it takes. Imagine what 3 minutes does.

Hugging helps our body's immune system.

It helps depression.

Reduces stress.

Is invigorating.


Maybe it's a cure all!

No wonder why I love children, animals, and massages so much.

When it comes right down to it-

we just want to love, and be loved,

and embracing someone is a great way to feel this way.

Lots more on the Happiness Project here.

Ambro's photos here.


  1. Your dad was a wise man Louise and what a touching insight he had. Maybe I've been stopping at 5 second hugs but I plan on testing out these findings. Loved this LOB post.

  2. KPO it's so great to hear a male's point of view, but especially yours. Have fun pushing it to 6 seconds or more with your wonderful lady love.

  3. Too funny, Lou...you're right, we both posted on hugging today! I must have felt your cyberspace hug, girlfriend! Hug a friend, furry or otherwise, today and everyday! I love those massages too...here's to oxytocin and serotonin the NATURAL WAY!:) xxx...ooo!