This is post one of a series of articles about the kind of people that professional snuggling is meant to help. Professional snuggling is considered an alternative therapy that is specifically good for coping with various mental, physical, and emotional conditions that I will outline in upcoming posts.
You get up in the morning to turn off your alarm, but you lay in bed just trying to bring yourself to get up today. You wake up with a hazy cloud weighing your head and chest back down into your bed as you turn the alarm off of your phone, tossing it to the side as you take a few deep breaths and close your eyes again. You know you should get up, but you can barely bring yourself to move. You lay in silence, feeling dread wash over you. You know you'll be late for work if you don't do something about this soon, and logic tells you that what you need to do is get up. Yet, for some reason, you just can't until you glance at your alarm once more and realize that if you don't get up you'll be on the verge of getting fired for being so late. You finally get up in a rush and frantic pace and get in the car, driving to your workplace in a dazed state the entire ride almost on autopilot.
You're surrounded by people daily at work, yet you don't really feel connected to any of them. Yes, some of them have their own personal lives that is somewhat apparent in the occasional break room talk you overhear from time to time, but you just aren't sure if you really connect with them. Their lives seem bright and exciting… yours feel mundane and uneventful in comparison. More often than not, you feel like your coworkers talk at you more than to you. You don’t seem to have much to contribute, so you let them continue to talk to you about their dazzling life as you sit stuck in your own head wondering why you’re not like that. You have a hard time relating to anything they’re saying as time goes on. Why is it that even though you're surrounded by people, you still feel so alone?
Everything seems to have become bland: your food, your work, your conversations with people, and the motions you go through to get by each day. You run out of energy before the day is over and you feel stuck on rewind and play, rewind and play, over and over again as you continue this path...
You come home, maybe it's empty and maybe there's other people there and you feel like it's difficult to socialize with them. The idea of going out and meeting new people is exhausting and overwhelming to you. You might as well just stay in and conserve the little energy you have left at the end of this long day. But at the same time, you wish someone could come to you and just give you a hug before you do the last few things you need to do before you shut your light off for the day.
Maybe you know you need help and you see a therapist. Maybe you take medications to help you improve over time. Maybe you have a good group of friends that know you are depressed and try to help in ways they only know how to, but may not always be what you need. Maybe, despite all of this, you still don't feel like you're seen or understood and you're not sure what you're missing that can help you further. Maybe you see your therapist and all you want is a hug from them. But that's not professional; you can't ask that of them...
How Does Professional Snuggling Help?
First, the science behind it: there are various chemicals that get released naturally during cuddling that provide various health benefits. One of the most common cited chemicals that gets released is oxytocin, which is associated with staving off long-term side effects of depression with extended exposure. In short, the more often you cuddle over a period of time for self-care, the more likely you are to reap the benefits of staving off this depression. Another commonly cited chemical that gets released is serotonin, a chemical that is commonly known for its sleep-inducing effects but is also associated with its emotional stability-inducing effects.
Science aside, while you may have loved ones in your life, it's probably strange for you to ask for more than a hug from them. Hugs are mini-boosts that can help a lot and I generally encourage them overall. Snuggling as a form a therapy is much more than a hug though. It's a chance to be with an understanding person that wants you to feel like you are seen. You don't have to to divulge your feelings in the sessions or try to be anything for the other person while you're cuddling them in a session. A session simply frees you to be you and have a kind, therapeutic personality be present with you.
Because I believe you're worthy of attention and happiness, even if it looks a little different from your coworkers, room mates, family, or friends. I want you to know that how you are is okay, you don't need to give me more of your energy, and you are wonderful.
Is this you? Think you want to try professional snuggling?