A hug does a lot of good! Whether it is given by a child, a parent, a spouse or a friend, a hug soothes and reassures. This observation inspired the creation of a day dedicated to hugs, on 21 January each year. We will tell you the story of this day, which is good for morale and of public utility!
On March 29, 1986, in Caro, Michigan, Reverend Kevin Zaborney created the first Hug Day. He had noticed that his parishioners lacked zest and joy in the period between the beginning of the year and Valentine's Day. The explanation was simple: after spending the festive season with their families, many people were suffering from a return to a much colder and duller everyday life. Of course, the winter weather is an aggravating factor, but it was clearly the lack of human contact that was the cause of this downturn. Rather than letting them wait until Valentine's Day to receive love, it was beneficial to encourage people to unleash their affections towards the end of January.
The "Free Hugs" movement
Alongside Hugs Day, another good reason to put hugs in the spotlight is the "Free Hugs" movement.
The principle is simple: an individual offers, in a public place, a hug for free and manifests it by a small sign on which it is written "Free hugs". This concept was invented in 2004 in Australia by Juan Mann. He was far from his home town and found the big city sad and devoid of human warmth. He had the idea of warming up the atmosphere by holding up a small sign asking for hugs. It was an immediate success and the concept spread all over the world.
In honour of Hug Day, here are 5 ideas for making yourself and others feel good:
- Hug the people you like instead of just shaking hands or giving a mechanical kiss.
- Visit and hug an elderly or sick person. Older people sometimes understand a hug better than a long speech, and human contact is therapeutic. This is especially true for people with impaired hearing and vision.
- To all those you can't hug because they are far away, we suggest you send a hug card.
- Make your own "free hug" sign! A piece of cardboard, the two words written in marker and a little courage will be enough to follow the Free Hugs movement. Stand in a station concourse, town hall square or public garden and let it happen! What are you risking, apart from meeting new people?
- If you don't dare to offer a hug to people you like, at least opt for a smile, which is easier to offer and doesn't commit you to anything.
Hugging has many health benefits, both physical and psychological. Among its main contributions are the following:
- They provide security: Human beings are very fragile by nature, especially when we are babies, so a good dose of hugs helps us to feel secure and confident.
- Provokes pleasure: Every time we hug someone or we are hugged, our brain secretes two substances: dopamine and serotonin, both of which reduce stress and together provide calm, tranquillity and tranquillity.
- It covers our affective needs: People who do not show affection suffer from something known in psychology as skin hunger, which is nothing more than the need for human contact.
- The best cure for shyness: It allows shy people to become more confident, open, spontaneous and self-assured.
- Lowers blood pressure: People who do not have much physical contact have a much higher heart rate and blood pressure than people who receive frequent hugs.