Celebrate National Hug Day
National Hug Day or National Hugging Day is an annual holiday occurring on January 21. The holiday was founded on January 21, 1986 in Caro, Michigan, and has since spread to Canada, England, Australia, Germany and Poland.
Today is National Hugging Day! Whether you prefer Bear Hugs, Heart-to-Heart Hugs, Cheek Hugs, or Side Hugs, embrace your loved ones today to show your love and affection. Scientific studies have demonstrated that hugs are incredibly good for us.
THE BENEFITS OF HUGGING!
1) Hugs make us feel “happy”! When we hug another person, our bodies release oxytocin, a hormone associated with “happiness,” according to scientific studies.
2) Hugs alleviate stress! Just as a good hug increases our oxytocin levels, it decreases our cortisol or “stress” levels.
3) Babies need hugs as much as water and food! According to researchers at Harvard University, hugs help promote normal levels of cortisol necessary for child development.
4) Hugs make us better students! Students who receive a supportive touch from a teacher are twice as likely to volunteer in class.
5) Hugs improve our game! Scientists at University of California, Berkley discovered that the more affectionate members of a team are with each other, the more likely they are to win.
6) A hug a day keeps the doctor away! A hug stimulates the thymus gland, which in turn regulates the production of white blood cells that keep us healthy and disease-free.
7) A hug stops the bug! Researchers at Carnegie Mellon proved that individuals who were sick and received hugs had less severe symptoms and were able to get better quicker.
8) A hugging heart is a healthy heart! Research from University of North Carolina showed that a good hug helps ease blood flow and lower cortisol levels, which in turn help lower our heart rates.
9) A hugging couple is a happy couple! Couples that experience their partners’ love through physical affection share higher oxytocin levels. 
10) Hugs let someone know you care without having to say a word! According to Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology at University of California, Berkeley, we can identify love from simple human touch – imagine how much love a big hug can communicate!
Hugs Help You Find Meaning In Life
Hugs and Soothe your anxieties, fears, and existential crises — at least for a short time. “Even fleeting and seemingly trivial instances of interpersonal touch may help people to deal more effectively with existential concern,” Sander Koole, the lead author of another study on hugging, wrote. When people were faced with realizing their mortality, being grounded by the touch of another person helped them overcome their fears. “Interpersonal touch is such a powerful mechanism that even objects that simulate touch by another person [such as a teddy bear] may help to instill in people a sense of existential significance,” Koole said.
Beyond being a simple show of affection, hugs go as far as to alleviate your fear of mortality and risk of heart disease (who knew)? So get out there and hug someone — whether it be a relative, friend, or total stranger.
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