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In recent weeks my immediate family may have just been getting a few more hugs than usual, in the absence of being able to meet with family members and friends - those who know me well know that I’m a hugger! When our children see my husband and I giving each other a hug, they’re quick to take part in a family squeeze as well!

When my children have got upset about things like ‘wanting the egg yolk to be on the outside of the egg NOT the inside!’ or when Mummy doesn’t understand what ‘shorty leggings with the long feet’ are… (Let me know what you think the answer to that one is… it took me a while!) What often helps them, in the first instance, is asking if they want a hug, or simply holding out our arms, and, more often than not, it’s the most effective way to calm their heart rate and stop the tears.

So why are hugs so incredibly magical?

When we’re upset or angry, a genuine hug from someone we love and trust has the power to diffuse the troubling feelings hanging over us, and instead offers us reassurance, strength and love.

Sometimes, all it takes to bring stress levels down, calm your heart rate and get as much oxytocin flowing as possible, is simply a hug from one of your special people.

So go on, chances are, right now, one of your best people is right next to you, or at least in the room next door… Go give them a hug!

“Where I live, if someone gives you a hug, it’s from the heart”. Steve Irwin

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