An item in the newspaper caught my eye. Titled: "Farewell to Arms?" I'll quote most of the short item. "Everyone needs at least one hug a day to cope with the stress of modern life British researchers have found. But a survey by scientists at Manchester Metropolitan University established that the hectic pace of 21st-century living has killed off the hug, leaving a nation starved of daily physical contacts." The Sunday Telegraph.
The item rang a bell for me. Once upon a time in my previous life in Toronto I taught communication skills to various groups and was a lead trainer for the Distress Centre. We had eight training sessions to prepare the volunteers to answer our telephones.
Many callers to the Centre were lonely people with problems. They desperately needed human contact, someone to listen without judging. A kind voice, a listening ear were balm to their troubled souls.
Sadly some people go through life without a hug or a kind word and often suffer physical abuse as well. To remain healthy in this stressful world we all need hugs, physical or virtual or both!
I call hugs, Warm Fuzzies. In my lessons, I ran through the Warm Fuzzie recipe. One hug is barely enough to keep a person functioning and it's important to find a way to collect Warm Fuzzies. My recipe for optimum health is Twelve Warm Fuzzies a day. A small example of a virtual hug. I'm driving and suddenly my lane is blocked off with road work, I glance to the left and a driver signals me to go ahead. That's a Warm Fuzzie for me and for the driver. Find a way to collect them.
For the person with a sad childhood all they know are Cold Pricklies. They're afraid to take a chance on looking or waving or smiling in case they are ignored or slapped down. Teaching them to take a risk, teaching them how to collect Warm Fuzzies is often the work of a psychologist or a thoughtful neighbour/friend. I've skipped through this lesson but am willing to add to it should anyone be interested. Leave a comment.
Count yourself lucky that you know how to collect Warm Fuzzies. In my writing, my characters know how to collect them, if not immediately, they will by the end of the book.
Catherine Thurston, my heroine in, A Very Difficult Man had to deal with the hero's Cold Pricklies. That she taught him how to be comfortable with Warm Fuzzies is the central theme of my story. Check it out.