Now that hugs are socially acceptable once again, we finally have access to that one, unrivalled antidote to stress and fear, that manages to transcend even the stiffest of upper lips, and the steeliest of resolves.
Whether between family or friends, the power in these moments of shoulder-to-shoulder closeness, is defined not by the formality itself, but by the subtle ‘extras’ that take it from polite… to personal.
That lingering extra second.
That grip that’s just a little bit tighter, than your average 'it’s-been-a-while' squeeze.
It’s hard to describe, but easy to feel, and this is something that we’re ironically just rediscovering, at a time when the currency of comfort and calm is at an all time high.
According to experts, it's only after hugging for 20 seconds, that the feel-good hormone oxytocin is released, and our emotional and health capacities are positively influenced.
With this scientific incentive in mind, we're committing (when appropriate), to hold a little longer, and squeeze a little tighter.
Of course, there will be times when the 20 second rule errs on the side of 'awks' (word of advice, colleagues and acquaintances are probably a no, no) so as a general rule, it might be best to reserve the 'hug therapy' sessions for a select, special few.
These few will be distinguishable by their ability to make 2 seconds melt into 20, melt into an hour!
When you find these people, hold them close, and then closer still.