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Don’t you ever be sad again that she only hugged you. Hugs are actually great, maybe even better than *cough* the other advanced stuff. Here’s why.
A hug is one of the most potent human interactions known to man. It is supposed to provide instant relief from anything between Monday blues to a life crisis. Everyone needs a warm embrace once in a while that makes you feel gooey from the inside and magically better about yourself. Scientists say that even trivial instances of interpersonal touches clear up the mind and help in making better decisions. So, how powerful are these hugs? Let's find out.
Oxytocin is oxygen! – Hugs trigger a release of oxytocin that stimulates solidarity between strangers, builds trust, and helps in forming stronger social bonds. Research from the University of California revealed that hugs make humans more civilised and more affectionate. They also seemed to boost the libido and performance of the test subjects.
See you later, stress-tigator – Say bye to stress. A hug that lasts more than 20 seconds is known to lower the levels of cortisol in the body. Talk about free therapy.
Stay physical – In another study conducted by the University of North Carolina, researchers found that participants who didn't have any physical contact with their partners had a higher heart rate by over 10 beats per minute, as compared to others who were asked to hug their partners.
Hugging is a mood-upper – Seriously, sometimes nothing says ‘you're not alone’ like a hug from a friend who sees that you're having a bad day. A good hug is like a miracle, because very few people today are ready to indulge in an intimate hug by taking out the time; and you shouldn't be afraid of giving a friend a much-needed hug. It would brighten their day – promise.
Hugs make you a better person – Hugs cultivate patience and appreciation, with time. The world today is like a big race where everyone is competing against everyone, constantly running to meet a target. In times like these, where nobody gives a care for someone else's suffering, taking out time to appreciate and acknowledge someone's effort, and to give them an encouraging hug means that you're growing as a person and becoming wiser, more nurturing, and more patient.
Hoga – when hugs are like yoga – Hugs instil a feeling of tranquillity and calm inside, and getting or giving a hug is one of the best ways to connect with yourself. A nice, long hug is the best way to say sorry, ask for forgiveness, and look inside yourself to truly understand how you feel. It's the time to let go, and to just go with the good feeling.
Hugs are the shizz – Which brings me to my last point – hugs feel good. We make so many compromises in a day, but ask yourself – when did you do something that felt really good? I think by now you get it. Go out there and give out more hugs to show people that you care. The world becomes a better place with every hug you gift.
It’s not a crime to say ‘no’. Learn to say no, and even better, learn to say it right.
Saying ‘No’ isn't the worst thing in the world
Although building a reputation for saying yes all the time can be the worst. It’s great to be known as the generous person who bends backwards for people. But it can be counterproductive when you don't realise that people can take you for granted.
How to say ‘No’ (and why):
Politely, honestly – ‘No’ is an authoritative word. By using it, you're essentially telling the other person that they can't have what they want. For it to have the right impact, it’s imperative to use clear, respectful language. ‘No’ shouldn't work against you, burning your bridges with people. You want mutual regard and transparency, so your tone, eye contact, and body language should all convey the authenticity of your reasons for saying no.
Scenario 1: “No, I won't go to the party with you. I don't need to explain myself.” With this, you're giving off really rude, cold vibes; and inviting distrust and resentment from the other.
Scenario 2: “I'm really sorry, I can't go to the party with you. I’ve told XYZ I would go with them already.” You’re communicating that you're bound by personal principles. The other knows they can count on you in the future, and can trust you, a person with unshakeable values.
By knowing what you're doing – If you’re ‘with it’ as far as your personal or professional schedules are concerned, you’ll have clarity on whether you can accommodate people's requests. You can use to your advantage the fact that no-one else really has the right to tell you how to manage your day/week/month, if they’re not walking in your shoes. Explaining your reasons for saying no by giving the other a brief outline of what you’ve got on your plate already, is sufficient. Don't feel guilty for having a life!
By offering feasible alternatives – When you can't ‘fit someone in’, you make them feel like you have boundaries. The least you can do to show you care, is suggest something else you can do, without it eating into your own busy schedule.
Scenario 1: “I don't have the time to help you with your presentation, because I'm flat out.”
Scenario 2: “Sorry, I can't help you with your presentation because I'm flat out. What I can do
is read through it for you when you're done. It will be a fresh pair of eyes on the content, and I can point out any mistakes or repetitions.”
By conveying your ‘me-time’ is just that – If you really wanted to, you could take out quality alone-time, no matter how rushed your life is. Technically, since it’s ‘free’ time, you could use it to accommodate others. However, giving in, and spending energy that you could use instead to recharge yourself, will eventually cause physical/psychological/emotional burnout. Not only does your own life get chaotic when you’re ‘down’, but you can't follow through on any promises either.
The common denominator
Often, there’s no connection among the variety of situations in which you’d have to say no. The one key rule of thumb though, would be to try and say no in a way that leaves the door open for future communication. Sincere efforts should be made to ensure that nothing, from tone and body language, to the words chosen, to the surrounding contexts and situations, conveys that you're ‘shutting the other out’.
Do you suspect that your husband is just jealous of the attention you’re getting, because you’re pregnant, and pretending to be sick? He may be telling the truth. He may have Couvade syndrome.
Couvade syndrome is a condition when a man experiences pregnancy…sympathetically. Well the ‘experiencing pregnancy’ bit is technically incorrect. Saying that he experiences pregnancy symptoms like nausea, minor weight gain, a disturbed sleep pattern, and hormonal fluctuations is more like it. Couvade syndrome is also known as ‘sympathetic pregnancy’. In extreme cases, some people claim to experience nose bleeds, labour pains, and postpartum depression too. Crazy, right? Well, some medical experts think it’s crazy too, as they state that there is no such thing. However, the vast majority believes that it is an actual phenomenon triggered by stress and empathy, and suggest that it might be a psychosomatic condition (a field studying the link between societal, behavioural, and psychological factors on our bodily processes, and on overall health).
Not to take the limelight away from the woman, but pregnancy is a stressful time for the close family too. Financial worries, health concerns, and apprehensions about the future and all the changes can make anyone sick! So, is your husband ‘expecting’? Let’s find out.
There are more symptoms added to medical literature every year, and every case is unique. A lot of these symptoms and changes can be explained. For instance, stress lowers testosterone levels in men, leaving them with oodles of oestrogen to deal with, generating pregnancy-like symptoms. In addition, men with extreme couvade have too much cortisol in their system. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is extremely helpful in dealing with short-term stress, but in the long-term leads to excessive prolactin, a hormone that stimulates milk production after childbirth, and leads to breast enlargement in men.
Let’s talk about the Oscar-winning documentary ‘March of the Penguins’, which popularised the emperor penguin ritual of breeding, and got us humans to take some inspiration. In the emperor penguin culture, after mating, the mama penguin lays an egg and places it on the papa’s feet, who then incubates it for 2 months – protecting it from predators and other cruel Antarctic conditions.
Message – If papa penguins can be so involved in childbirth, why can’t papa humans? And though sometimes, just a pat on the back and a “Get a grip, man!” is enough to resolve symptoms, sometimes it may take more than that. Most women don’t take couvade seriously, and giggle at the mention of it – shrugging it off; some others think that the father is trying to get some attention, making the other parent feel more alone and unwanted. The right thing to do instead is to face pregnancy as a couple, as the mama penguin and papa penguin do (who both protect the egg), going through all ups and downs together, flapping and dancing like ‘Happy Feet’.
Tip: Why not give each other a foot massage to ease the swelling, and talk about the hard day you had? It won’t win you an Oscar, but it will win you a lot of love. Ka-ching!
Amishi Naturals' Liv-Zyte is a herbal product which cures liver problems like fatty liver, liver cirrhosis , anorexia, alcoholism, and hepatitis. Also cures hangovers. Dose: 1-2 capsules, twice a day.Amishi Naturals' Liv-Zyte is a herbal product which cures liver problems like fatty liver, liver cirrhosis , anorexia, alcoholism, and hepatitis. Also cures hangovers. Dose: 1-2 capsules, twice a day.
Ayurveda says that no two people are the same. Our body make-up depends on the permutations and combinations of the 3 doshas in the body, viz vata, pitta, and kapha. Know yours and stay healthy!Ayurveda says that no two people are the same. Our body make-up depends on the permutations and combinations of the 3 doshas in the body, viz vata, pitta, and kapha. Know yours and stay healthy!
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