COLUMN BY MELANIE PALMER, CEO OF SOLIHULL BID, WHICH FEATURED IN THE SOLIHULL OBSERVER
Boris has given us the power to hug, watch movies and remove our thermals for a night out, and boy did we need it.
Bringing back hugging sounds totally surreal. Rewind 18 months and imagine being told that hugging was against the law, you would feel you had stepped into a dystopian filmset, but real it was and now it’s back it’s the buzz-hug word on the street.
For those anti huggers out there, research backs up the power of hugs. Huggers become ill less often, hugging reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes and physical contact is proven to support physical and mental health.
Hugging releases dopamine which triggers our motivation, and oxytocin to make us feel good, and generally re-balances our nervous system. A BBC survey of 400k people from 112 countries showed that ‘touch’ means to them: love, warmth, and comfort. Sounds pretty convincing to me.
COVID took away our ability to hug just when we needed it most. Stress drives us to seek out supportive alliances who can protect and comfort us, it has been a huge missing piece of the healing jigsaw.
As the Drifters put it: ‘Hugging and a kissing on the back row of the movies’. Oh, go on then, I’ll buy the popcorn.