Share the love on January 21 because it is National Hugging Day. The day encourages people to show their emotions more often, and offer hugs to others, whether they are family, friends, or strangers. Hugging has many benefits, mental and physical. Hugging or being hugged by someone instantly makes us feel better because it reduces oxytocin. This hormone reduces pain and stress, lowers the risk of heart disease and it also reduces anxiety. Let this day remind you to show everyone around you how much you appreciate them by giving them a hug, and you'll feel better doing it too!
National Hug Day was made official by the United States Copyright Office, but it is not a public holiday. This means that businesses and schools remain open.
National Hugging Day was created by Kevin Zaborney in 1986, in Clio, Michigan. Zaborney picked the date of January 21 to observe this day on because it falls between Christmas and Valentine's Day, a time of the year where people tend to feel a bit more down. He also believed that Americans tend to be very guarded and not into public displays of affection, so he hoped that creating National Hug Day would change this.
The day quickly caught on in the United States, and eventually, it started spreading around the world, so now many different countries celebrate National Hugging Day too.
As recently as 50 years ago, hugging in public was considered to be extremely inappropriate, and as intimate as kissing. The perception of hugging began changing as both dress codes and rules on proper manners became less formal and more relaxed, and now the act of hugging is as casual as a handshake.
Hugs are still a very big part of romantic relationships. Studies show that couples who hug regularly are much closer to each other than those who don't, and in turn, their marriages tend to last longer. This is due to the fact that hugging releases oxytocin, the "love hormone", and because hugging also increases trust levels between two people, helping them be more honest when communicating with each other.
However, nowadays, we also share hugs with family and friends. Hugs are a great tool to show someone how much we support them or to console them when they're feeling down. But hugs can also be something casual, used in greeting or when saying goodbye to someone, or when thanking someone for doing something nice for us. It's a great thing that hugs have become a more common act because hugging is a great help when it comes to our health and immune system. As an added bonus, they are great for mental health too, especially for those people who often feel lonely.
How to Celebrate National Hugging Day
Celebrate this day by offering everyone you come across a hug. Sure, you might get some weird looks, but you will also make a lot of people's days a whole lot happier.
Start by hugging friends and family. We often forget to show those ones closest to us how much we love them. This is the perfect day to remind them how important they are to you, and what better way to do it than with a tight hug?
Many people go on through their days feeling lonely due to the lack of human contact. So today, put a smile on a stranger's face by offering them a hug. Organize a "Free Hugs" event with some friends, and go around your town giving people hugs. It is an extremely rewarding thing to do, and you can make a big impact in someone's life with such a small gesture.