If you are feeling alone, unconnected and/or going through changes in your life reaching out and asking people you know for a hug might help. Our skin is the largest organ we have and possibly the most neglected and abused through sun/bed damage, poor diet, lack of touch we are depriving ourselves of the very thing that nutures us in our infancy.
In the US a study compared American pre-schoolers to French children of the same age, they found that American children touched less, argued more, showed more aggressive behaviours and fretted more than their French counterparts. The French children received more touch from parents and peers in play, showed more concern for others and less aggression. A similar study explored the same of adolescents with the same results. How do we change this? Firstly studies on primates have shown that touch and grooming behaviours go beyond what is necessary for everyday cleanliness. Primates who bond through grooming each other and platonic, non-threatening touch, show more protective behaviours to their peers. Monkeys who were deprived of touch throughout infancy were able to reach normal milestones when they were able to experience giving and receiving of touch with their peers, this suggests that even those young people who have been deprived of touch could, potentially achieve a better connection with their cerebral emotional pleasure zone thereby reducing aggressive disconnected behaviours.
The next best thing to being hugged is to take a hot bath, fill it with bubbles and soak, this stimulates the skin and relaxes you – so if there is no one to hug make bath time a regular thing!