National Hug Day, Why Hugs are a Good Thing!

January 21, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Did you know that January 21st is National Hugging Day? Probably not because though it is officially recognized by the United States Copyright Office, it is not a public holiday. The holiday was founded by Rev. Kevin Zaborney on March 29, 1986, in Caro, Michigan. The purpose of the day is to help everyone show more emotion in public. There is only one way you are supposed to celebrate the holiday, offer a hug to anyone and everyone you want. While National Hug Day and the Free Hugs Campaign share many similarities, there is not an association between the two. Whether you hug a family member or a stranger, the mental and physical health benefits are the same.

So let's take a few minutes to talk about why hugs are so great. 

1. It Increases Bonding with Our Partner and Loved Ones

Hugging can cause a release of oxytocin from the brain, causing us to bond with our partner. The release of this hormone causes a rise in feelings of commitment and intimacy as we share feelings for each other through hugging.

Try hugging with your partner to feel your bond strengthen!

2. It Relaxes the Body

Hugging causes our muscles to relax, releasing tension in the body.

Hug someone to wash away the cares of the day!

3. Pain Relief

Hugging releases endorphins, which relieve pain by blocking pain pathways and soothe aches by increasing circulation to soft tissues. 

When you are in pain, reach out for a hug!

4. Increases Empathy and Understanding

A passionate hug allows for the exchange of feelings across the bioenergetics field generated by the heart, causing us to empathize with the other person. This builds trust between people in a way that words simply cannot. 

Hug someone when you want to open your heart to them!

5. Helps with Depression

Hugging can increase the production of dopamine in your brain, and this can be seen in PET scans of the brain. Dopamine levels are low in people with conditions with mood disorders like Depression.

So if you see someone depressed, give them a hug, and bring a little joy to their life.

6. Helps You Feel Happy

Hugging can increase the production of serotonin from your brain, which improves your mood and can boost your self-esteem. A person experiences depression and loneliness when their serotonin levels are low. Hugging causes the brain to release serotonin and endorphin to blood vessels to create pleasure and negate sadness. Hugging also results in improved performance at work and at school.

Hug your partner or child if they are feeling blue!

7. Stress Relief

Hugging alleviates stress by reducing the levels of circulating cortisol (the stress hormones) in the blood. This causes the mind to calm down. This helps in decreasing cortisol-induced hyperglycemia and diabetes mellitus. Studies show that well-hugged babies are less stressed than less-hugged adults. 

When your partner comes home after work, just give them a warm hug!

8. Good For Your Heart

Hugging can decrease heart rate. In a study conducted by the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, participants who did not have any contact with their partners developed a quickened heart rate of 10 beats per minute compared to 5 beats per minute among those who got to hug their partners during the experiment. Decreasing heart rates will help in decreasing blood pressure and cardiac illness

9. Less Likely To Get Sick

Dr. Shelden Cohen conducted a study of over 400 healthy adults who were interviewed about their perceived social support. They participated in night phone interviews for two weeks. They were asked about the frequency that they engaged in personal conflict and received hugs that day. The researchers exposed the participants to the common cold virus and monitored to assess symptoms and signs of infection. They found that the people who perceived themselves as having good social support and received frequent hugs had less or no number of symptoms and signs of infection. The people who went through interpersonal conflict and the people who received less or no hugs, however, exhibited different symptoms and signs of infection. Hugging can decrease the stress hormone which inhibits the immune system and increase the hormones and peptides that regulate the functioning of immune cells.

Give your children hugs and keep them healthy and immune!

10. Reduces Worry

A study revealed that hugging and touching reduce worry. The study also discovered that even hugging an inanimate object like a teddy bear was enough to soothe an individuals fears. Moreover, simply imagining hugging a person you love the most can cause your brain to release serotonin, dopamine, and endorphin, triggering feelings of happiness and joy. This will also negate the worries by decreasing the levels of stress hormone, by altering the perception of the brain, and by evoking positive emotions.

Don’t worry, hug and live long!

So how can you observe the day? 

Give someone a big hug and use #NationalHuggingDay to post on social media!

 

Our information about the benefits of hugging were found here- http://www.collective-evolution.com/2015/12/03/the-chemistry-of-hugging-11-benefits-of-hugging/


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