In just 30 seconds, this easy tip can help improve your relationship or marriage, and make more of a difference than you think!
I know how much you all love the marriage and relationship posts here on Fantabulosity, so I’ve invited Amy Hartle from Two Drifters to share her favorite tip for how to improve your relationship in only 30 seconds per day. Because who wouldn’t want to improve at least some area of their relationship?
Improving your relationship can sometimes seem like a major undertaking.
- Will you need to spend hours a week talking through your issues together?
- Make a significant effort journaling and plowing through a workbook?
Even mere reading can be a time-consuming task.
Our Favorite Marriage Tip
While there are so many valuable ways in which you can work on building your relationship, they need not all be labor-intensive and demanding on your time.
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In fact, my husband and I have found one particular way to grow our relationship that is extremely effective. And the best part is? This tip only takes 30 seconds per day.
This is something my husband and I do each day. And although the action itself could be successfully completed in as little as 20-30 seconds, we enjoy doing it, and so we repeat throughout the day several times. (We like to think this has compound effects!)
Wondering what this “magic bullet” is that I’m talking about? It’s surprisingly simple.
Yep, hugs are one of the mainstays of our marriage; one of our most important relationship rituals.
We credit hugging and cuddling as a leading reason we have a happy, comfortable, and loving partnership. And nearly 7 years into our relationship, we feel more in love and connected than ever.
The Power of a Hug
Before you dismiss a hug as being “too easy,” let’s take a look at what science has to say.
Over and over, scientific research upholds the importance of physical contact between humans. It’s hard to deny that physical contact is an instinct for the vast majority of healthy people.Who doesn’t enjoy a relaxing massage or appreciate a gentle pat on the back? And a hug may be the most effective at all.
When two people embrace, the hormone oxytocin is released. This so-called “love hormone” helps to build and strengthen attachments and increases feelings of empathy and affection.
In other words, a hug helps you bond. Some studies reveal that those who hug a partner often demonstrate higher overall levels of oxytocin, which means that hugs have lasting effects.
The physical contact that hugging provides also activates other chemical changes in your brain, such as a lowering of cortisol (‘the stress hormone’) and boosts of endorphins and serotonin. All of this equals feeling better.
Health Benefits from Hugging
Oh, and did we also mention that hugging and cuddling have health benefits, too, like lowering your blood pressure? So hugging isn’t just good for your love story, it’s good for your life.
Psychotherapist Mary Jo Rapini says that “a couple’s ability to cuddle, not to perform sex, is one of the best predictors of an emotionally/physically close, happy, and healthy relationship.”
I don’t need science to tell you that hugging and cuddling with my husband daily makes us both feel happier, closer, and more loving. I’ve seen firsthand how powerful this physical interaction can be!
Why 30 Seconds?
Does a quick hug have the same effect as a long hug? It may have a similar outcome, at least chemically, but there’s a lot to be said for an extended embrace.
Many relationship experts recommend hugging for 20 seconds per day.
This is the right amount of time, they claim, to reap all the major benefits that hugging can provide.
Taking 20 seconds also gives you and your partner an opportunity to take a deep breath, focus on the other person, and really be in the moment of the hug. These are impacts that can’t necessarily be measured but seem vital nonetheless.
If 20 seconds is recommended, why not add on 10 more for good measure? That’s what we figure, anyway, though truth be told, my husband and I hug and cuddle for probably 15-20 minutes over the course of our day.
A Heart Hug
We also occasionally practice something called the “heart hug,” which we learned from a therapist.
The heart hug involves a full-armed embrace, standing chest to chest with your partner.
- In a heart hug, you pull each other close and hug for around 30 seconds while trying to slow down and sync your breathing.
This helps you to relax your mind and body and connect to the physical response of the other person.
Feeling their heart beat against yours is extremely soothing and comforting and is like a regular hug with extra power. When you’re done, you can’t help but feel better.
How to Work Through an Argument
You can even try the heart hug in the middle of or at the start of an argument. It might seem difficult to embrace the person you’re mad at, but you might be surprised how quickly the tension and anger diffuse when you connect physically, even if it’s relatively brief. In any case, you’re likely to be more level-headed when approaching your conflict.
How to Incorporate Hugs in Your Day
Does hugging come naturally to you and your partner? Great. Including a 20-30 second hug might be an easy addition to your day.
If hugging doesn’t come naturally, or if you just need a little more guidance, here are some suggestions:
- Try to set aside a particular time each day for your 30-second hug. Logical times may be before you leave for work, when you first wake up in the morning, or just before going to bed in the evening.
- If it doesn’t feel natural to stand and hug face to face, that’s ok! Start with what feels comfortable. For many, this might be a hug when laying in bed, or a simple bit of cuddling on the couch while watching Netflix. All of these approaches are great. So long as your connecting with gentle physical touch and affection, you’ll be reaping the benefits the hug can provide.
You may be surprised at how this daily connection boosts your relationship. You may find you feel more appreciative of your spouse, or more attracted to your partner.
You might simply find that some of your own fears and anxieties are alleviated.
Hug and Tell…
If you try the 30-second hug and it works for you, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!
Check out more of our suggestions on strengthening your marriage/relationship daily and more content on relationships, couples travel, and more at Two Drifters.
Thank you so much Amy! We’re definitely going to try this and see what happens. I have a feeling only good can come from it, right?!
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