Monday, August 2, 2010

Happy Days...

I read this article today and thought I would share....

This month's challenge in Woman's Day magazine: Family

Of all the resolutions I’ve tried for my happiness project, one stands out as my favorite. It’s free, fun and easy, yet it has a dramatic effect on the atmosphere in my house. What is it? I make it a point to hug my husband and my kids more often. Being affectionate with your family is one of the fastest ways to feel happier. Study after study shows that hugging relieves stress, increases feelings of closeness and even diminishes pain. And a Pennsylvania State University study found that people who gave five hugs a day for a month to as many different people as possible were happier than those who didn’t.

To get the most out of your squeeze, hold it for at least 20 seconds. That magic number triggers an increase in the mood-boosting hormone oxytocin, according to research from the University of North Carolina.

I’m really enjoying this resolution: I give my husband proper good-morning, welcome-home and good-night hugs and kisses. And I go out of my way to show affection to my two daughters throughout the day-cuddling them in my lap, stroking their hair, pulling them close when I sit or stand near them.

While it’s nice to be able to point to research that underscores the benefits of affection, the truth is we really don’t need scientific studies to prove that sharing hugs with the ones we love leads to happiness. That we know from experience.

~Gretchen Rubin

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