A GOOD MATE OF MINE IS EX-SAS. He’s a big brute of a man – a master of hand-to-hand combat, skilled in survival, a weapons expert and trained killer. Mentally and physically, he’s as tough as they come.
And … he’s one of the biggest softies I know.
Every time we catch up, he loves nothing more than to wrap me up with his big, bear-like arms, and give me a long, slightly awkward, hug.
Now, I don’t mind a hug or two – especially if it’s with my wife or kids. But a man-hug takes a little more effort. And the quicker the better!
However, when my ex-military mate hugs, I’m stuck there for a good long while. In fact, these hugs have been known to go on for over a minute. That’s more than 60 seconds of close-quarter hugging with another man! Not even my wife gets that!
But it’s futile to resist. And according to a recent study, it’s actually something I should embrace!
Did you know that the average hug between two people lasts three seconds? But here’s the good oil: when a hug lasts 20 seconds or more, something special happens.
A quality hug produces a hormone called ‘oxytocin’ – also known as the love hormone. And this substance has a whole bunch of benefits for our health – including calming our fears and anxieties, and helping us relax and feel safe. And it costs us nothing!
So next time you’re in the middle of an embrace – resist the urge for a quickie, bring it in tight, and quietly count to 20 …