HUGS…As we know, the human touch is one of the best ways to feel emotionally well. Research suggests there are healing powers in hugs. Hugs can help protect and buffer against stress, negative emotions, and the issues that are caused by our fluctuating moods. (, October 2018). The power of the hug is complex but simply put it helps produce oxytocin which is a neurochemical that helps build trust, speeds physical healing and feel well, plus warm all over!

During times of disasters, war, major stress like death, divorce and more, what do we see happening? People empathize and reach-out both figuratively and literally, in an effort to comfort others and support. This empathy and willingness to lend a hand sets in motion the body’s own means to producing that natural high, oxytocin production. (Gouin et al., 2010) .

So what can we do when touching is not something we can do for others? We can give a virtual hugs. We can fill buckets. Okay, not a real bucket. Everyone has an invisible bucket.

In the book, “How Full is your Bucket?” by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D., they share how even the briefest interactions impact our relationships, productivity, health, and longevity. They organize it all around a simple metaphor of the bucket. Did you know everyone has an invisible bucket? When we do nice things for someone we fill their bucket and ours. When we react in negative ways to others, we dip from their bucket and our own. One of the best ways to learn about the three principles behind the bucket concept is to read, “Have you filled a Bucket Today?” by Carol McCloud. She has a website too.

The bucket is made up of all those good feelings and emotions you have about yourself. In my teachings, it is your social-emotional self-worth bucket. The bucket can also represents your self-concept. The self-concept is made up of the beliefs one has about their behavior, abilities, and unique characteristics-a mental picture of who you are as a person. The beliefs people have about themselves which develops overtime based upon reflections of how people perceive and react towards them.

Again, bucket-filling is important to defining ones’ self-concept and self-worth. There are three basic principles: Bucket-filling, Bucket-dipping, and Putting a Lid on your Bucket. Right now more than ever filling buckets as well as keeping the lid on them is needed to ensure we are strong and healthy: physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. So, while you may not be able to reach-out and give a real HUG to everyone right now, YOU CAN FILL BUCKETS. Also know that times will be stressful therefore go “soft on people and hard on issues.” Keep the LID on your BUCKET when someone is having an emotionally rough day so they do not dip from your bucket. Then practice forgivingness, caring and kindness.

Together, we can stay socially-emotionally healthy and reduce trauma. This will limit mental health issues and continue the building of relationships. All you have to do is FILL SOMEONE’S BUCKET…All you have to do is be kind, caring and compassionate. In the end, YOU too will benefit. Doesn’t that sound like a SUPER HUG?

Filling Buckets and Creating a BETTER Tomorrow TOGETHER!

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