A Special Bond.

Research has shown that hugging actually has some surprising health benefits. That’s not necessarily good news for people like me that aren’t big huggers. But, I just may have to give hugging another try. To get the full benefits of a proper hug, two hearts must press together. When you hug this way, a few things may happen. First of all, hugs can raise oxytocin levels, which reduces anger, fear, and loneliness. It also boosts feeling of trust and safety. In addition to oxytocin, hugs also boost serotonin, which is brain chemical that elevates your mood and creates happiness.  So, a hug is essentially free therapy.

Hugs also boost self-esteem and self-worth. Children that were hugged by their parents have a greater ability for self-love later in life. As adults, a hug can boost our immune system, and balance the parasympathetic nervous system. Hugs reduce tension which can help with all kinds of issues from chronic pain to headaches. Finally, hugs simply allow us a positive physical connection with other people and show those that are close to us that we care for them.
The adorable little girl in this video probably has no idea of the health benefits of hugs. It most likely matters very little to her. What she does know is that every single day her brother disembarks the school bus at exactly the same time. And every single day she is there waiting for him. Excited to be reunited with her sibling, she runs to meet him with a huge hug. Her kind, caring, and understanding older brother accepts the hug. Adorably, he often has to lift her up and carry her a few inches as the bus pulls away. I think that we can assume that these two are normal siblings. They probably fight occasionally and play together, too. But it’s clear that they share an incredibly special bond that will carry them into adulthood. I have the sudden urge to call my older brother…

* Vocabulary:
- self-esteem (adj) /ˌself.eˈstiːm/confidence in one's own worth or abilities; self-respect.
- immune system (n) /ɪˈmjuːn/: body's defense against the bacteria or infectious organisms.
- parasympathetic (adj) /ˌparəsɪmpəˈθɛtɪk/of or relating to the part of the automatic nervous system that counterbalances the action of the sympathetic nerves
- reduce tension (n): make tension less.
- disembark (v) /dɪsɪmˈbɑːk/: leave a vehicle.
- bond (n): something that is of a connection between people or groups

e.g.: extracurricular activities are designed to strengthen the bonds of students and teachers.
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