Hugging It Out Is Healing

Sep 13, 2018


If you’re like most people, you experience conflict with your partner on occasion. But if you leave the house on a truly sour note, you might be damaging your health, as well as your relationship. 


Higher levels of hostility can lead to higher levels of inflammation -- along with the more immediate effects of the “fight or flight response” including body tension and a pounding heart. Conflict can also cause “leaky gut,” which sounds as disgusting as it is. This is when your gut leaks out bacteria into your circulatory system leaving you more susceptible to inflammation. An ugly fight with your spouse can leaves you feeling “sick at your stomach” . . . because you are. 


A loving hug or warm embrace, however, has the completely opposite effect. It slows the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, increases endorphins, builds up the immune system, and cements emotional bonds. 


If you started the day with angry words, you can’t unsay what was said, but you can undo some of the damage you’ve done to your body. 


Imagine you and your partner sitting side-by-side forgiving each other for the fight. Imagine sealing the deal with a big old bear hug. Give another little squeeze. If you’re like a lot of people, you’re feeling warmth spreading through your chest. Your respiration rate is slowing down. You may even be smiling as you feel your body relaxing. The positive feelings from this visualization are already helping your body to heal. 


There’s enough conflict in this world to go around; adding it to your relationships isn’t worth the risk to your health. 


I'm Suzanne Degges-White and that's my perspective.