Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Spreading Wellness: Will you give a spontaneous hug today?


"Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try." 

~Brian Littrell~

Do you remember learning how to walk? Probably not. We don't remember falling on our bottoms multiple times. We don't remember the tears that we shed as we learned this difficult task. What we remember is the accomplishment and the lifelong ability to get up the stairs, all because we decided to try. You probably remember teaching a child how to climb stairs, or at least watching a young one conquer the task. Think back to a time when you watched a toddler climbing the stairs on their own two feet. Focused, unstable, and most determined. It is exciting for them, and they constantly want to try again, no matter how many times they fall. Practice, practice, practice! As adults we are by their side for support, and most importantly, we are there for the big hug and the high five when they reach the top! Yes, even if it is 20 times in one day! :)

Those were the days, the days with continuous moments of accomplishment. The days that we celebrated the small milestones in our development, naturally, excitedly. The days that those surrounding us instinctively gave us a high five, and a hug at the completion of a small victory. The days that we lived in the moment, celebrated spontaneously, and easily loved ourselves. The days that we spontaneously and generously released oxytocin within ourselves, and those around us.

Those are the days that we can look back upon for inspiration into our future. Do you remember how you felt as a child when you accomplished something? Do you remember the excitement and joy when your friends/loved ones gave you that spontaneous hug of celebration? Do you remember how you felt when you gave that spontaneous hug to a friend or loved one? Maybe you still give hugs freely. If so, that is fantastic! Have you ever thought about the jolt of oxytocin that those moments gave/give you?

Last week I shared my gratitude for TED Talks, and the abundance of knowledge that they have sparked within myself and my career. This week I want to share another one, on the importance of those spontaneous hugs. If you have 16 minutes to learn more about the reasons why, you can click on Paul Zak's TED Talk.
http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_zak_trust_morality_and_oxytocin If you don't have 16 minutes to listen, his take home message is: "8 hugs a day will help you to be happier, and make the world a better place."

So how do these stories relate to WellU? WellU has partnered with Campus Rec, and this month Campus Rec has started their Trot off the Treats initiative to get our campus moving during this year's holiday season. Look at the COR Announcements and/or stop in the BWC, at the Campus Rec welcome desk to learn more! Everyone is eligible to win one of their great prizes! And, every day you walk, bike, take a class, plus other activities, you have an opportunity to mark your progress...and every day you will have an opportunity to celebrate these little successes! Every day you have an opportunity to celebrate with a hug, and release oxytocin within yourself, and others, making the world a happier place.

I urge you to reflect upon your life, determine what your "stairs in the world" are, and choose how you will climb them. No matter how many times you fall, remember the child learning to climb stairs, pick yourself up, and try again. Find some support, and you will succeed! Then, celebrate your milestones!

How will you release oxytocin in your personal physiology today? I encourage you to give a spontaneous hug, to help make the world a happier place.