Hugs. Do you remember them? They are something we used to do before Covid. Putting our arms around another human being. Invading another’s six foot personal space bubble. Connecting on a deeper level.
I miss them.
If you can’t guess, I’m a hugger. It doesn’t matter if you are a business associate or a family member, I hug. Or I used to.
So, what is it that I (and many others) miss about hugs? My guess is that it’s the heart connection that the hug created. It is that moment of “I’ve got you. Everything is okay. You’ve got it.” In addition, hugs increase endorphins (the hormone that helps us feel good).
What would it take to create this connected feeling even if we can’t physically hug?
Here’s the cool part: The mind doesn’t know real from fake. It thinks that everything it sees and senses is real. And you can use this to your advantage by using your imagination.
That’s right, we can imagine a hug and get many of the same benefits. It’s more than a momentary imagination. You have to put repetition, emotion and motion (REM) into your imagination to make it even more real so that the benefits flood your body.
1) Be grateful. Start with something you are grateful for, such as sunshine. It just makes us happy.
2) Imagine. Give it some action. Imagine the sun hugging you. (Let go of the idea that it burns you. It’s your imagination and you can imagine anything that you desire and this sun doesn’t burn. It warms. And if you imagine a burn, imagine a magical burn cream that provides instant relief.)
3) Expand. Add more movement. So far you have a sun hugging you. It doesn’t feel real yet. So, let’s exaggerate the picture. The sun become a being that is close to you and is huge. It has arms, after all we hug with arms. Perhaps its squishy. Or maybe you prefer solid. It’s your imagination and you can make it however you desire.
4) Feel. Further exaggerate the image, imagine yourself hugging the sun as it hugs you. Take a moment and feel the peace of the hug. You might even imagine the sun whispering something comforting to you. Can you feel the hug? Your body thinks this is real AND IT IS. It may not be in physical form, but it is as real to your inner body as if it was.
5) Experience. Stay with the feeling. Imagine it over and over. Your imagination can expand on the image and change. Life isn’t static and the picture can evolve. Imagine walking hand in hand as you walk on the beach. Or imagine this giant sun hugging some part of your body that you are healing. Or imagine the giant sun having a cup of coffee with you as you sit in the park and it has one arm around your shoulders and your head is maybe resting on it’s shoulder. Feel the peace. Feel the feeling of “I’ve got you. Everything is okay.”
You can choose to feel this for a moment. However, to make a larger difference, imagine and feel the Sunshine Hug for multiple minutes or perhaps even an hour. It’s up to you how long you would like to bask in the glow of a glorious hug. Enjoy.