The world is opening up🙋🏼♀️…but hugs are still shut down 🙆🏼♀️. WHAAAAAT?
How can a Pre-Pandemic Hugger survive Post-Pandemic social life?
Hopefully, you still enjoy hugging your significant other after being locked inside the house together for a couple of months. But how can you express love in non-physical ways to your other friends and family? Here are some ideas.
4 non-physical ways to express love
1. CONNECT WITH eye contact
William Shakespeare, Leonardo Da Vinci, Victor Hugo, Carl Jung and countless others throughout history marveled at the connection of the eyes to the soul. Convey your feelings by baring your soul with eye contact. Even after social distancing is a thing of the past, would more eye contact be a bad thing? Can we put our devices down for a few moments to really connect with another human being? We spend an embarrassing average of 3.5 hours a day on our phones, and we’re only awake for about 18. Watch out, though. Eye contact is powerful stuff, and most of us are not accustomed to it. Try to strike just the right amount. Enough to really connect, but not so much that it’s overbearing.
2. EXPRESS YOUR AFFECTION IN Words
Hugs express our feelings for each other non-verbally, raising our natural “feel good” or “happiness hormones” (including Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins). But, just hearing that you are loved or special ALSO increases natural dopamine and oxytocin levels. So, spread some happiness verbally. Express your deep affection or admiration to someone you would usually hug. For those unfamiliar with the concept, I’m referring to talking; its sorta like texting, only you do it with your mouth. 😉 It’s a little more work, but those you love will be grateful. And don’t be stingy. Blast that love out like a candy-exploding piñata.
3. Invent your own greeting
When I see a loved one that I’ve been missing for a while, I tend to put both hands over my heart and raise my shoulders. While I’m not sure why, it feels pretty natural to me. I think I’ll stick with it.
What could you do to salute those you love? Prince Harry uses the elbow bump. The Israeli Prime Minister advised “doing” Namaste (hands together at your heart center). My brother-in-law air-kissed me the other day, which I found sweet and thoughtful. What fits your personality style? Perhaps a peace sign? Maybe say hello Snoop-style with a little dance?
4. Smile without restraint
Show us your teeth! Give your biggest smile. Smiles naturally raise dopamine levels and convey feelings of welcomeness. Smiling lowers stress levels, boosts your immune system and lowers blood pressure. Sign me up for that!
While none of these can completely substitute being swept up in an embrace by a treasured friend, hopefully they will be enough; at least until hugging is back on the table. But for now, maybe the little gestures with which we greet each other will mean a little more than they used to. Since they take deliberate thought and action, perhaps it will be more appreciated than just going in for the physical touch.
If you have a new or different non-physical greeting, SHARE IT WITH US in the comments below!