The 20 Second Hug – A Refuge From Chaos

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I came home from work, turned on my notebook, logged in, booted all my apps and with total despair, got ready to plug myself back in. My wife walked over, looked me dead in the eyes and without a word, gave me a hug.

She actually did more than that. She held onto me for over 20 seconds and it transported me from a world of struggle, discomfort and confusion to what can only be described as home.

Finding comfort and home in others
When I look at you, I’m at home.

Home is where the heart is.

Years ago I learned about the 20-second hug and decided to give it a go. There’s research that’s been done that proves that several hormones get released at a certain point throughout the 20-second hug impacting your health and state of mind.

That’s all well and good, but for me, it does something more important.

It gives me refuge from the challenges and difficulties of life. It gets me present, silent and thoughtless. It makes it really hard to think about anything other than the warmth, soft touch and embrace from someone expressing genuine love. Find me something that does that faster than 20-seconds and I’m in.

That night was a long time since our last 20-second hug. I had been so caught up in navigating the challenges in my life that I had forgotten such a simple act.

She knew I needed something to make things melt away.

I was having a shit week and my wife knew exactly what to do. It flawed me so much that I welled up.

Her action cut through my crap and hit me square in the heart, reminding me I have one. So here’s a prescription you can take to the bank.

Give someone a 20-second hug. They don’t have to be a partner, it can be your sibling, parent, or close friend. It will be felt for days afterwards and can be the difference between having a bad day and one that made you feel things inside.

After all, what’s life without feelings?


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