There is one small action, using which you can strengthen the emotional connection with your loved ones. It is a hug.
Hugs are a powerful form of recognition that the other person is important to you. This is not a friendly pat on the shoulder, but a strong and gentle hug in which you put your feelings. This is an indicator of emotional closeness between two people. Hugging another person, you kind of say to him: “I am with you.” And it is especially valuable in difficult times.
From a physiological point of view, hugs contribute to the release of oxytocin, the so-called “attachment hormone”. It promotes attachment and the strengthening of existing ties and relationships, including between the mother and the newborn. Hugs and other touches are probably an evolutionary mechanism that contributes to survival. Oxytocin is produced not only as a result of physical proximity with another person, but also as a result of other forms of emotional connection (for example, eye contact, a smile, and manifestations of attention). Continue reading