Get MindfulSomatic Exercise Self Hug

Somatic: Self Hug

26 April 2024

Introducing the self-hug, a simple yet incredibly impactful practice that can boost your well-being and foster self-compassion.

We could all use a little comfort and compassion couldn't we?


How does a hug make you feel?

Have you ever noticed how a hug from a loved one can instantly make you feel better? That's because the pressure from a hug stimulates the release of oxytocin, often referred to as the "love hormone." This hormone promotes feelings of bonding and trust, and it's also responsible for reducing stress and anxiety.

The self-hug acts on the same principle but your using your greatest gift, your body to get the same results. It's such a simple way to bring a somatic practice into your tool box. When you wrap your arms around yourself, you're applying gentle pressure to your body. This pressure triggers the release of oxytocin, which can induce a sense of calm and security.



In our busy lives, we often forget to treat ourselves with the kindness and understanding we readily extend to others. The self-hug provides an opportunity to change that. By embracing yourself, you're demonstrating self-compassion – a practice rooted in acknowledging your own struggles and treating yourself with the same empathy you'd offer a friend.

Here are some instances when the self-hug exercise can be particularly helpful:

  • During Times of Stress: When feeling overwhelmed or stressed, wrapping your arms around yourself in a self-hug can provide a sense of security and calmness, helping to reduce anxiety and tension.
  • When Experiencing Emotional Distress: Whether feeling sad, anxious, or frustrated, the self-hug exercise can offer emotional support and validation, allowing yourself to acknowledge and soothe their emotions.
  • Before or After Challenging Situations: Prior to facing a difficult conversation, presentation, or event, engaging in a self-hug can help you regulate your nervous system and cultivate a sense of inner strength and resilience. Similarly, after a challenging experience, the self-hug can provide comfort and solace, promoting emotional recovery.
  • When Feeling Disconnected or Lonely: The self-hug serves as a physical reminder of self-care and self-love, helping you reconnect with yourself and alleviate feelings of loneliness or isolation.
  • As a Daily Practice: Incorporating the self-hug exercise into a daily self-care routine can foster a sense of self-compassion and well-being, promoting emotional balance and resilience over time.


How to Practise the Self-Hug

  1. Find a quiet, comfortable space where you can focus on yourself.
  2. Gently cross your arms over your chest, just like you would in a hug.
  3. Hold yourself tenderly, applying gentle pressure with your arms.
  4. Close your eyes if you're comfortable, and take a few deep breaths.
  5. Allow yourself to settle into the embrace, feeling the sense of safety it brings.
  6. Stay in this position for as long as it feels comforting. There's no rush.

Remember, the self-hug is your personal act of self-care. There's no right or wrong way to do it – it's about what feels soothing and nurturing to you.

Make the self-hug a part of your daily self-care ritual. Whether you start your day with it or use it as a tool to unwind before bed, this simple gesture can make a world of difference in how you feel. And the beauty of the self-hug is that it's always available to you – in times of stress, sadness, or simply when you need a moment of comfort.

The self-hug is a reminder that your well-being matters. It's an invitation to connect with yourself on a deeper level and provide yourself with the care you deserve. So, go ahead, wrap your arms around yourself, feel the pressure, and experience the magic of the self-hug – a somatic practice that embraces YOU!


Get Inspired Further

guide to eft

Your guide to EFT. Learn how EFT can help with anxiety, depression, fears, phobias, physical pain, PTSD and much more.

Somatic Butterfly Hug

This is a somatic practice to help with nervous system regulation. You can use this if you feel anxious, scattered or dysregulated.

super oxygenation breathing

There are many potential benefits associated with this breathing technique including heightened immunity, enhanced focus and an increase in energy.

KEYWORD TAGS: anxiety somatic stress

If you are experiencing distress or are in a mental health crisis please contact
Lifeline on 0808 808 8000


“The more we share,
the more we have ”

Get Involved WIth Find Help NIJoin the Conversation


Add your organisation
or business to the directory

askBecome A Member Today!