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Are Your Cuddle Nerves Ready?

As I write this newsletter, I look forward to going "home" to Massachusetts to see family and friends who I haven't seen since before COVID.

You know what I am looking forward to the most? HUGS!!!! I'm not talking about the lean toward each other arm teepee hugs; I am talking BIG, LONG BEAR HUGS.

The reason hugs feel so good has to do with our sense of touch. Touch is the first sense to start working in the womb (around 14 weeks). From the moment each of us is born, the gentle caress of a mother has multiple health benefits, such as lowering heart rate and promoting the growth of brain cell connections.

A group of nerves called c-tactile afferents, process the emotional meaning of touch. These "cuddle nerves" signal the rewarding, pleasurable aspects of social tactile interactions such as hugging and touching.

Touch is all-around beneficial for our mental and physical health. It has been shown to improve sleep, decrease stress reaction, increase well-being, and even help fight off infections.

Let's all start hugging again!!! Oh by the way, giving yourself a hug has also been shown to regulate emotional processes and reduce stress.


This Week's Focus:

This week, be on a hug mission! Catch up on some of those hugs you've missed out on. Give yourself some hugs too -- they are also beneficial.

Click on the serenity sticky to print, cut and post on your bathroom mirror to remind you of this week's focus. Good luck!

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