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The 7 Best Feel-Good Alternatives to Replace Hugs

This is an excellent article from Amen Clinics on the power of human touch and boosting important brain chemicals. Enjoy!


In times of our greatest celebrations, our darkest sadness, and in the moments in between, we seek out hugs from family, friends, and loved ones. Big bear hugs make you feel safe, warm, happy, comforted and connected. But with the pandemic, people aren’t getting these much-needed embraces. That’s bad news, because hugs don’t just feel good, they come with a host of brain benefits.

BRAIN BENEFITS OF HUGS

Some of the psychological and neurological benefits of wrapping your arms around your loved ones include:

  • Triggers the release of oxytocin. Sometimes referred to as the “cuddle hormone,” oxytocin is a hormone and neurotransmitter that promotes a sense of well-being, relaxation, and bonding. It may be best known for its involvement in childbirth and breastfeeding to strengthen the bonds between mother and baby. More recently, it has become known as “the love hormone” as it brings forth feelings of trust, security, connection, calmness, and contentment. Some research suggests that intranasal oxytocin may be used to enhance relationships interpersonal connections.
  • Boosts moods. Hugging increases levels of the feel-good neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin to elevate moods. Receiving a hug also helps protect people from negative moods, according to findings in a 2018 study in Plos One.
  • Decreases the stress hormone cortisol and lowers stress levels. Hugs protect against chronic stress, which reduces “brain reserve,” the extra cushion of brain tissue you have to deal with the curveballs life throws your way. Uncontrolled stress is also associated with reduced immune system function, increasing your risk of infections and illness. To keep stress at bay, it’s a good idea to “hug it out” on a regular basis.
  • Lowers anxiety, depression, and feelings of loneliness. The simple act of embracing another human has positive impacts on psychological well-being. For example, a 2013 study from researchers at the University of Amsterdam found that hugs help reduce anxiety and fears in people with low self-esteem.

Read the rest of this article by going here.

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Podcasts

How to Experience Peace in Chaos

We’re living in such crazy times! With COVID-19 a new reality in our world today, violent & destructive riots occurring every day, and a highly contentious election coming up, how is one supposed to find peace in their every day lives? And even more so for those who listen to this podcast, how does a person thrive in their recovery journey? This week on the podcast, we share a message that Frank preached recently at a local church on the topic of experiencing peace in times of chaos. We pray that it will be a blessing in your life!


VIDEO:


AUDIO:


If you and your spouse are struggling and would like help on your journey, please feel free to contact us! Or, if you’re a wife and need some extra help from another wife who’s walked through what you have, head on over to the “Support for Wives” section and shoot Tracey a message by filling out the contact form. All communication is strictly confidential.

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Blog

Guard Your Heart

As sort of a follow-up to last week’s podcast (How’s Your Heart?), I wanted to post two incredible videos from John & Stasi Eldredge of Ransomed Heart. I really love this couple and the amazing insights they share here about the importance of guarding your heart!


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Blog Discipleship Resources Sexual Purity Spiritual Growth

Jesus Loves Barabbas

This one hits me in the gut every time. Why?

Because we are Barabbas.

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Podcasts Sexual Purity

166: Finding Contentment Pt.2

zone-of-contentment

THIS WEEK: Finding Contentment (cont.) • Give Your Kids Attention, Not Your iPhone! • Recovery Tip: Bookending • Recovery Tip: The 24 Hour Rule • Thanks for listening!