Posted on January 21, 2017
Today's theme – hugging one another to lift each other's spirits and show affection – was positioned sorta-kinda halfway between the end of the Christmas and New Years holidays and Valentine's Day.
For us Northern Hemisphere types, it can be a time of short, dark, stormy days, and the founder of the holiday (Kevin Zaborney) thought it was a great time to try to bring warmth and cheer into our lives.
I would suggest changing the name of the day from “National Hugging Day” to “International Hugging Day,” since the day has become popular in many other countries, from Canada and Guam to Australia and Bulgaria.
Check the official website to see who won “Most Huggable Person of 2017” (plus past winners).
Did you know that hugging is physically good for you?
- Hugs also boost oxytocin levels. That chemical is called the “love chemical”; it's important to healing negative emotions such as loneliness and anger.
- There is evidence that hugging reduces stress, reduces blood pressure, improves immune function (so you get fewer colds or other viruses, and if you do get a cold, it tends to go away faster), and improves pain tolerance.
A family therapist named Virginia Satir once said, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”
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