I promised that the next prompts would be short and sweet, so today’s is a super quick one, and what’s more it’s dead easy to do.
Don’t let that fool you though as it’s an incredibly powerful technique.
Today, and everyday from now on, you’re going to hug yourself.
This particular hug is a form of very gentle bi-lateral stimulation – a technique used in trauma therapy to help people self soothe and self regulate.
You don’t have to be traumatised to benefit from this technique though.
Hugging releases the natural ‘love drug’ – the hormone oxytocin – into our system which can help to reduce our stress levels quite significantly.
Self hugs work just as effectively as a hug from another person. The brain can’t tell the difference.
Another technique which has the same effect is to simply place your hands on your heart. Personally, I find the hug more soothing, especially if used just as I drop off to sleep under my weighted blanket. More on weighted blankets in a moment.
How to hug for the best effect...
Take your right hand and put it under your left arm – you want to be cupping your armpit, so your hand will be forming a V shape, if that makes sense? Then you put your left hand on the top of your right arm. I find that if I rub my arm it’s even more effective. That’s it!
Give it a try and notice how you feel before, during and afterwards.
Weighted blankets are fab! They are quite pricey, but if you’re a crocheter, then I’ve found that a crocheted blanket, plus a couple of soft, sensuous fleece blankets, have quite a weight to them.
The way a weighted blanket works is by engaging your proprioceptive sense – the inner sense that tells your body where it is in space. When your body is covered in something weighted, it’s getting very clear signals about where it is, and so your nervous system can relax, because it feels safe.
Weighted blankets can help you to have a much deeper night’s sleep, and they can also help you to relax and destress when you’re awake.
If you add in some extra tactile input, ie with a soft fleece blanket, or maybe you have a cat or dog you can stroke, you may well find yourself slipping into seventh heaven on your own settee!