January 21 is International Hugging Day – Instead of a handshake – Give a Hug
Start hugging North Hollywood! January 21 is International Hugging Day. It Kevin Zaborney created National Hugging Day in 1986 and has now gone international. January 21 was chosen because it marks the midpoint between Christmas and Valentines day, where people seem to be at their emotional low point. The holiday was created because Zaborney felt like Americans are embarrassed to show their feelings in public and hoped that a National Hug Day would change that. So, NoHo, let’s get to hugging.
The Benefits of Hugging – Studies have shown that human contact has many health benefits and this human touch can improves both psychological and physical development. Hugging can also help build a good immune system, decrease the risk of heart disease, and decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol in women. It has been shown that a couple who hugs for 20 seconds has higher levels of oxytocin, and that those who were in a loving relationship exhibited a highest increase. According to the American Psychosomatic Society, a hug or 10 minutes of holding hands with a romantic partner can help reduce stress.
We all hug in different ways and the way we hug can tell a person how we feel about them…. The Back to Front Hug is the perfect way to give support and affection to someone, even if they are busy carrying out a task like the washing up! Receiving a Back to Front Hug shows that you have someone who is always there for you and is a way of expressing love and affection for that person irrespective of what is received in return.
The Bear Hug is one of the hugs that we all consider to be the strongest. By squeezing your hugging partner gently, you can instantly give them reassurance and affection. But people tend to use Bear Hugs when they are excited or when they want to display strong affection. However remember, the best Bear Hugs require moderate squeezing not suffocating!
The Cheek Hug on the other hand is the complete opposite. We use the Cheek Hug when we need to comfort someone or show affection but this type of hug also allows us to keep our distance at the same time. The Cheek Hug may be used by anyone – elderly people who may not be able to hug tightly, people who are seated, colleagues, acquaintances and even friends and family.
The Side to Side Hug is a common sight we all see almost everyday. Most of us have all strolled down the road locked in a Side to Side Hug with someone. This casual hug allows us to demonstrate our affection for one another without being too intimate. It is also a way of conveniently hugging whilst carrying out other tasks such as walking, sitting down next to each other and standing in a queue for example.
The Heart Centred Hug is one we all enjoy. A slow, intimate and well-needed Heart Hug can lift anyone’s spirits and is the perfect way to show close family, friends and partners how much you care!
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