Speight's and Movemeber want to change some rough stats about men’s mental health and suicide in Aotearoa. Men account for three of every four suicides in our country and nearly 25% of all Kiwi dudes suffer from poor mental health.
Speight's reckons hugging your mates for just six seconds will actually help a lot. Embracing one of your boys for that long releases the feel-good hormone oxytocin. When oxytocin is released, bonds are formed and connections become stronger.
Jacqui Maguire, a clinical physician and mental health expert for Movemeber, knows that it will be weird being in the arms of your bro for that long, but ensures the benefits are worth it.
“It’s true, you might feel a tad awkward hugging a mate for 6+ seconds,” she said.
“However, there are profound benefits of a simple hug – hugging boosts your physical health (e.g. lowering your blood pressure) and helps people bond and feel a sense of belonging. Initial awkwardness will fade with practice.”
“Hugging is a universal language of affection, friendship, compassion, love, familiarity, and unity."
"We can all recall experiencing a good hug that has lifted our mood and science confirms the incredible power of a hug to lift our emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing.”
Speight’s Marketing Manager Kris Hansen believes the hugs can lead to all-important tough conversations about how you and your mates are feeling.
“We know men can struggle to open up and have the conversations that matter,” he said.
“If we can get more Kiwi men to embrace those they care about for at least six seconds and start the release of oxytocin, it just might make the hard conversations a bit easier. Having meaningful conversations and better social connections can help men’s overall wellbeing significantly.”
Go on lad, give a hug to ya uncle, nephew, dad, son, mate, cousin, sister’s boyfriend, cousin’s mate’s neighbour’s uncle, you’ll be doing them and yourself a huge favour.