National hug day

The world needs more hugs. They make us feel good, they are calorie free and anyone can do it…alas in the middle of a pandemic they may need to be virtual but its the thought that counts.

National Hug Day

It started with a man called Kevin

Back in 1986 the reverend Kevin Zaborney decided that people were just too embarrassed about public displays of affection. So he decided to create a special day when hugging was actively encouraged and he called it National Hug Day.

The date, 21st January, is a bit arbitrary but was chosen to fall between the joys of the festive season and the emotion packed Valentines Day to give people a point in the year when they could just feel good.

While the day originated in America, now many other countries, the UK included, enthusiastically celebrate this opportunity to give out a hug

The first rule of Hug Day

Physical contact with another person must always be welcomed, so the first rule of National Hug Day is always ask first before bestowing a hug. Easy. That way everyone can enjoy the moment.

Other than that, the only rules for National Hug Day are get out there and share the hugs with family and friends – maybe even colleagues.

Of course, in the middle of a pandemic we can’t go out hugging people, not while respecting social distancing. But we can give a virtual hug – here’s a link to how, send a virtual hug and make a friend or family smile today. Studies show that a small act of kindness, like a virtual hug, makes us feel good too.

The science behind the hug

National Hug DaySimply put, hugs make us feel good. A welcomed hug releases oxytocin (which helps us feel happy) into the body and reduces cortisol – which reduces stress.

In terms of our physical health this can help reduce blood pressure too. Cortisol is also an immune suppressant, so when we experience less of it our bodies are better able to fight off diseases.

Research has shown that a touch like a hug can help people improve their performance, and feel more confident about what they are doing.