I Need a Hug But I Don’t Have Anyone: The [10 Best] Hug Alternatives

couple hugging on high ground overlooking the sea

I Need a Hug But I Don’t Have Anyone

We all need a hug from time to time. But what do you do when there’s no one around to give you one?

Here are 7 of the best things to do instead:

I need a hug but I don’t have anyone

When you feel that you simply need to hug someone. For real. Hugs provide a sense of comfort and closeness to the person being hugged, which can be a great help in times of sorrow and loneliness. Hugs can be especially beneficial in times of stress and anxiety like these years, as they have been known to increase levels of oxytocin, a hormone associated with feeling relaxed and connected.

Why you need a hug

Hugs can help to boost serotonin levels, which is thought to be associated with happiness and well-being. In the current digital age, when many people are missing out on physical contact and connection with other people, the need for hugs can be even greater.

Signs that you need a hug

Feeling Lonely and Hoping for Connection

Signs that indicate a need for a hug include feeling depressed, anxious, stressed, lonely, abandoned, touch-starved, having difficulty sleeping, avoiding secure attachments, difficulty connecting with loved ones, and feeling overwhelmed.

These feelings can be addressed by seeking out safe and positive human contact, such as family, friends. Additionally, you can practice self-care, such as taking a warm bath or engaging in a calming activity.

Stress, Anxiety and Emotional Pain

When someone is experiencing stress, anxiety, and emotional pain, they may not demonstrate as much affection as they would under other circumstances. A simple way to support someone in this situation is to offer them a hug. Hugs can be beneficial in alleviating stress, reducing pain, and promoting intimacy. Plus, a recent study found that hugs after a conflict or negative event helped people feel better.

However, it is important to respect the individual’s need for physical contact. Not everyone responds well to a hug, and for some people it can even elevate stress instead of alleviating it. Before offering a hug, make sure you check in with what the individual needs and wants.

Wanting to Cope With Trauma or Pain

Signs that a person wants a hug to cope with trauma or pain can include: feeling emotionally vulnerable, feeling overwhelmed or anxious, or feeling lonely.

A person may experience a decrease in self-compassion or an increase in compulsive behaviors, such as drinking or overeating, to find some comfort. A person may also feel disconnected from their body or be averse to being hugged or touched.

Lack of Self-Care, emotional isolatation

Signs that indicate a lack of self-care include depression, anxiety, stress, low relationship satisfaction, difficulty sleeping, a tendency to avoid secure attachments, unappreciated feelings, feelings of unlove or being left out, and using unhealthy coping mechanisms like alcohol or food to comfort oneself.

Other signs of touch starvation include an inability to express or share emotion, a decrease in physical activity, and a decrease in self-esteem. Feeling emotionally isolated can also be a sign of touch starvation, as can feelings of loneliness and a lack of meaningful social connections.

Lack of Social Support

The lack of social support can be extremely detrimental to one’s overall health and can have a wide range of physical, mental, and emotional consequences. Without social support, people can often feel isolated and unable to cope with everyday stressors, leading to feelings of depression, anxiety, and trauma.

Experience of Trauma or Abuse

Trauma or abuse can have long-lasting effects on a person’s mental, physical, and emotional health. Trauma or abuse can cause a person to feel overwhelmed, anxious, or fearful, and often these feelings can lead to a strong aversion to physical affection or touch. Signs that indicate that someone may need a hug, but isn’t necessarily comfortable reaching out for it, include: avoidance of physical contact, difficulty expressing emotions, feeling unsafe, guilt or shame, flashbacks. If someone is exhibiting these signs, they may need a hug to help them feel safe and connected, even if they cannot verbalize it.

Having Trouble Sleeping

Signs that a person might be touch starved include feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, difficulty sleeping, and a tendency to avoid secure attachments. If someone is exhibiting any of these signs, there are a few ways to help. One way is to provide a safe and comfortable environment for them to express their emotions. This could include listening to them without judgment or providing an opportunity for them to connect.

Providing a physical object that can be hugged, such as a weighted blanket, body pillow, or stuffed animal, can help to provide the sense of comfort and security that comes with a hug. Finally, offering practical advice, such as taking a nap or writing down your feelings, can help to reduce stress and improve emotional wellbeing.

What to do when you need a hug?

Reach out and connect with loved ones over video chat or other forms of communication if you have them. Take up journaling to figure out how you’re really feeling and practice mindfulness to help regulate your emotions.

If you’re feeling lonely, there are several tips you can use to practice self-compassion. First, be mindful of how you’re feeling and don’t push it away. Instead, be kind to yourself and use self-compassion phrases like “I’m having a moment of suffering” to acknowledge your emotions.

The 7 Best Hug Alternatives

And now let’s see all the activities we have colleced for you if you really need a hug.

All of these hug alternatives can help you feel less lonely and more connected.

1. Call a friend

Calling a friend when you need a hug can be a great way to boost your mood and reduce feelings of loneliness. Connecting with someone, either in person or over the phone, allows you to express your emotions, share experiences, and create a positive atmosphere. Talking to someone also gives you the opportunity to receive a comforting hug, even if it is only virtually.

2. Talk to a therapist

Talking to a therapist can provide a safe and secure space to let out any emotions you may be feeling. A therapist can help you gain insight into your feelings and work with you to find healthier ways to cope with them. Talking to a therapist can help you better understand why you’re feeling the way you do and provide a different perspective on a situation. This can give you the opportunity to make positive changes in your life.

3. Hug yourself

Instead of hugging a friend, why not give yourself a hug? Wrap your arms around your shoulders and give yourself a nice big squeeze until you feel calm. Self-hugging can have some pretty big benefits, so it’s a great way to give yourself some love. It is called the Butterfly hug when you manage to hug yourself and your inner child.

hug yourself
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4. Hug a pillow

Hugging a pillow is okay, it is a great, soft way to get the comfort of a hug without another person. If you don’t have a pillow nearby, you can hug anything like a blanket, a jacket, a backpack, or any other object with a soft texture.

5. Cuddle with an animal

There is nothing more comforting than getting a furry hug from a dog or a cat. It’s best to hug your own pet. If you don’t have a pet, invest in a great stuffed animal. Petting an animal can help you relax by lowering your blood pressure and decreasing stress hormones. Cats, in particular, have been scientifically proven to be healers, so give them a hug if you can.

Or you can use a deep pressure therapy Dog to help yourself transition from a stressed state to a more relaxed one. Dogs can be trained to perform deep pressure therapy (DPT) as a service dog to help their handler

6. Hug nature

There is nothing like getting outside and getting some love from nature. If you’re down in the dumps, venture outside and find a nice sunny patch of grass to relax on. Stretch your arms wide and imagine hugging all of Mother Nature. Or hug a tree. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and feel the earth hugging you back. Spending time in the sun can help improve mood, so this works best when the weather is nice.

7. Take a walk

Taking a walk is a great way to get a hug without having to rely on another person. Fresh air, exercise, and a change of scenery can all help improve mental wellbeing, and being able to observe the beauty of nature can instantly lift your spirits.

Research suggests that spending two hours each week in a natural setting can help improve mood and general wellness. All in all, a walk is a great way to give yourself a hug.

8. Engage in a hobby

What are some examples of hobbies that can replace a hug?

Drawing: Drawing is a great way to express yourself without needing to be good at it. Even abstract lines, shapes, and colors can be therapeutic and help you to focus and forget about everything else around you.

Exercise: Exercise can provide great benefit to your mental health, so why not try going for a run or jogging around the park? This can help boost your mood and general wellness.

Creativity: Use the environment around you to get creative. Whether it’s hair styling, experimenting with food, or anything else that comes to mind, use your creativity to brainstorm new ideas and express yourself.

Self-Love: Practicing self-love is another great way to show yourself some love. Examples include giving yourself positive affirmations, massaging your temples, or rocking side to side with your hands on your shoulders.

9. Listen to music

Music activates emotional circuits in the brain, releases oxytocin which can help with bonding and trust, and increases dopamine which controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Music can help create peak emotions, which can make you feel more positive and uplifted.

10. Try a weighted blanket

A weighted blanket is a therapeutic blanket designed to provide deep pressure stimulation that simulates the feeling of being hugged or held. Weighted blankets are beneficial in providing a sense of calm and comfort and can be used to help reduce symptoms of anxiety, ADD/ADHD, autism, depression, and other mental health and sleep issues. The pressure of the blanket helps to relax the nervous system and sleeping with a weighted blanket promotes feelings of safety and security – the warmth of the blanket – or other weighted blanket alternatives – can provide a comforting feeling similar to that of being hugged. Sleeping with a weighted blanket can be an important factor in preventing and reducing loneliness.

hug yourself


How long is a hug?

Have you ever wondered how long a hug should last? Psychologists in London have cracked the code on the ideal embrace, claiming that a hug should last between five and 10 seconds for maximum benefits. According to research from Goldsmiths university, longer hugs were found to provide an immediate pleasure boost in comparison to shorter ones (lasting just one second). However, the quick answer is about 3 seconds, according to a study of the post-competition embraces of Olympic athletes.

Hugs can be used for any number of purposes, from greeting to comforting to being there for someone. You can show kindness, support, togetherness, and hope with a hug. You can give bear hugs, side hugs, and hugs from behind or from the front. You can offer a tight squeeze or opt for something gentler.

Hugs can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes or more. In general, the longer an embrace, the more of an effect it can have. Chemicals such as oxytocin and serotonin reach their highest levels when you hug or cuddle for seven or more seconds, so it doesn’t take long to receive the maximum benefits of an embrace.

It’s normal to crave and give hugs. It’s something that we all need to thrive. From the time a human is in the womb to their last years on earth, physical contact and human touch are necessary and hugely important. Biologically, humans were created to be touched and to touch others.

Recognizing the importance of hugs and other kinds of touch can have positive health outcomes for years to come. A ‘seven second hug’ is a sincere, genuine transaction of love and care. The ‘run up hug’ – a euphoric, outburst of affection.

As author and family therapist Virginia Satir once said, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth”.

When you hug someone for 30 seconds, the feel-good hormone oxytocin is released, which helps to create a stronger bond and connection between the two people.

So, whether you’re giving a bear hug, side hug, or front hug, remember that touch is essential and there is no substitution for a great big hug!

What are the benefits of self-hugging?

The benefits of self-hugging include increased emotional satisfaction, improved self-love and compassion, and the release of beneficial chemicals in the body. It has been proven to provide calming effects and reduce negative moods. Self-hugging can also act as a form of self-soothing and offer social support. Additionally, it can help remind you of your own power and ability to take action to help improve your own well-being.

Finally, it is important to give yourself a hug when needed; self-love is just as important as physical touch from others.

Can hugs help reduce depression and anxiety?

Can hugs help reduce depression and anxiety? Absolutely! Hugs are a powerful tool for improving physical and mental health. Studies have shown that hugs can reduce cortisol levels, lower blood pressure, decrease stress, and offer protection from negative events. They can even increase happiness by reinforcing our knowledge that other people care about us.

Although not everyone likes to be hugged or touched in the same way, positive physical contact is a basic need and has been shown to effectively reduce stress levels and boost your mood. That’s because hugs release hormones like dopamine, which is sometimes referred to as the “happiness hormone.” Even if you can’t be around loved ones for the time being, self-hugging and offering other forms of nurturing touch can provide some of the same benefits.

How do hugs affect the body?

Hugs have a very positive effect on the body and mind. Physically, hugs can boost the immune system, reduce pain, lower blood pressure, and increase oxytocin levels. Mentally, hugs can reduce stress hormones, increase feel-good hormones, improve trust, and help fight off loneliness and depression. Hugs also boost dopamine levels, which give us feelings of pleasure, and release endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain relievers. All of these effects combined make hugs a great way to promote physical and mental wellbeing.

Are there any activities or practices that can simulate the feeling of hugging?

Yes, there are several activities and practices that can simulate the feeling of hugging. One option is to invest in a weighted blanket, which provides comfort and warmth similar to a hug. Plant care is also a great way to get a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

There are also many deep pressure calming activities that adults can do to help relax their muscles and joints. By providing input to the proprioceptive and sensory systems, deep pressure activities can help people to better regulate their emotions by providing a feeling of being grounded.

If the warmth and pressure of a hug are what you miss most, try wrapping yourself in a weighted blanket or learning the art of self-hugging. For a more immediate solution, you can practice the art of self-hugging, self-stroking and massaging.

To get the same calming effects as a hug, you can also practice Somatic Experiencing techniques like telling yourself positive things and rocking side to side.


By lezt

Lez Taylor, Founder and CEO of Corala Blanket. She tried every sleep system and trick to conquer her insomnia for good.