Dr. Danielle Forshee, Psy.D., spoke with Elite Daily about the mental health benefits of hugging.
But on that note, maybe you’re actually cringing reading all of this because, to you, hugs are a little too close for comfort. This is totally normal, especially if you grew up in an environment where expressing emotion in that way just wasn’t a thing, psychologist Dr. Danielle Forshee, Psy.D., tells Elite Daily. If you’re open to becoming a little more comfortable with hugs, though, she adds, it’s definitely possible with practice. “Practicing over time in small doses, receiving or giving physical contact to close people in their life might be helpful in starting to feel less awkward with physical touch,” Forshee says. “For example, putting your hand on someone’s shoulder or arm when they’re speaking to you can be a good starting point, and then [you can move] up to a half-hug or a kiss on the cheek, [and eventually] a full-blown hug.”
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