Let me ask a question: do you know how to hug yourself?
Does that sound silly? Or does it make you feel totally uncomfortable?
Honestly, if you told me I could give myself a hug when I needed to feel better, and it would actually feel good, I would have rolled my eyes. Full stop. Would have walked away from you and not thought of it again.
I really thought I had my self-love skills down. I knew how to love myself when I was feeling off or needed to come down from a big emotion (for the most part).
I'd turn to ways that were more on the side of care. Ways that were more physical. A quick podcast pump-up, trip to the gym or a long talk with a friend would help me calm down and bring me back to centre.
In fact most of my the ways I would get around my thoughts and emotions was to focus on something external or get support form someone that was not me.
Until I realized that when I did this, I really was not giving into my inner power. I was not tuning into the love I could offer myself in these times of need.
At the time I started this self-love journey, two-years ago, hugs were my medicine. I would sit in my husbands arms, I would give my kids hugs all day long, and I when I got him, I would hug my pup as much as I possibly could when I needed a boost. It felt awesome.
Then, I took training in self-compassion - which literally teaches you how to love yourself - and whoa! One of the first tools they share is how to give yourself gentle touch.
Now gentle touch can be anywhere on your body. You can place a hand on your heart, your belly, your head - truly anywhere you need to feel comfort.
But for me, being able to give myself a hug when I was feeling low was the most uplifting experience I could have ever imagined.
Think about it:
- When you're feeling down, you want a hug.
- When your kids is hurt, you give a hug.
- When you see someone you love struggling, you offer a hug.
HUGS ARE POWERFUL!
And when we learn the skill of giving ourself a hug, loving ourself when we need support and care, we can turn get the love we need from others directly from ourself exactly when we need it.
That doesn't mean that we don't ask for help. That doesn't mean that we don't give support to others. But it should mean that we pass the skill of a self-hug to our kids, because when they learn this powerful tool major wins will come their way.
A self-hug is an act that warms your body, soothes your soul and calms your mind.
If you do this for one-minute it can be a meditative pause. A way to come back to the present. A way to release all fear or worry or stress.
When we do this and take a deep belly breath, we naturally release oxytocin in our body, which helps us feel more comfortable, relaxed, energized and loved.
And when we give into the idea that everything we need is inside of us right now, giving ourselves a hug is an act of self-love for who we are today.
How amazing is that!?
Here is a guided reel to try! Let me know how it goes.