Hugs that last over twenty seconds, release a chemical in your body called “Oxytocin”, which makes you trust the person you’re hugging more.
“We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth” - Virginia Satir, family therapist
Hugging someone is a way of showing that we care, and for both the hugged and hugger, it feels good. When growing up, we are very sensitive to touch. We recognize our parents initially through sense of touch.
Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter that acts like a hormone and helps promote trust. It’s released in the body when we feel safe. This could be through breast-feeding (when we’re little), holding hands, snuggling, dancing with someone, during a massage or body work out or things that generally make us feel at ease. Hugging is definitely one of the things that make us release oxytocin.
If my hugs last longer than 20 seconds, I start doing mental calculations over whether it’s becoming weird or not.