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MonJul 18

Global Hug Your Kids Day – July 18, 2022

Global Hug Your Kids Day is celebrated on the third Monday of every July, which is July 18 this year. The day celebrates the bond between parents and children. The purpose of this day is simple — hug your children to express how much you love them. Hugging is a simple act of reassuring comfort, safety, and trust. Everyone can do with a hug, especially children. And when you hug your kids, you’ll realize that it makes you happy, too! A natural expression of love and a stress reliever, don’t forget to wrap your kids in a bear hug today.

History of Global Hug Your Kids Day

Global Hug Your Kids Day was started by Michelle Nichols in 2008. This was a decade after her son Mark died due to brain cancer at the age of eight. Nichols started observing the day as a reminder to mothers and fathers, especially those who spend long hours at work and often away, to express affection to their kids by hugging them. 

Hugging is probably as ancient as humans themselves. It is practiced by almost all cultures as an act of affection and empathy without using words. People hug to convey a myriad of messages, some of which include a greeting or goodbye, to express sympathy or to congratulate, and to convey gratitude, support, and affection. The word ‘hug’ might have originated from ‘hugga,’ an Old Norse word that means ‘to comfort.’ In the early 17th century, ‘hug’ was used to describe a wrestling hold. The current meaning of the word came into existence sometime in the 1650s. 

Hugging is good for your health, too. It releases a hormone called oxytocin into the bloodstream. Oxytocin is produced in the pituitary gland and it helps regulate blood pressure, heart rate, and the stress hormone cortisol. Hugging may also reduce anxiety, improve mood and memory, and increase bonding and closeness. Studies show that those who hug often tend to have greater empathy for others. Hugging a kid can boost their oxygen levels, calm breathing, and ease pain signals. It may also help the brain grow and make infection and other illnesses, like hypoglycemia or hypothermia, less likely. 

Global Hug Your Kids Day timeline

1973
The Chipko Movement

Activists hug trees in order to protect them from felling.

1986
National Hugging Day

Kevin Zaborney introduces National Hugging Day in America.

2016
“Big Hero 6”

The movie shows Baymax, who loves to hug.

2019
Most Number of Hugs

Anthony Anderson and Darius Rucker set the record for the most hugs given in a minute — 138.

Global Hug Your Kids Day FAQs

When is Global Hug Your Kids Day celebrated?

Global Hug Your Kids Day is celebrated on the third Monday of July every year. In 2021, it’ll be celebrated on July 19. 

Who started Global Hug Your Kids Day?

Global Hug Your Kids Day was started by Michelle Nicols in honor of her son who had passed away due to brain cancer. 

Why does hugging make us feel happy?

Hugging releases a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin makes us feel happy, relaxed, and safe.

Global Hug Your Kids Day Activities

  1. Hug them

    That’s the obvious thing to do on Global Hug Your Kids Day! Wake your kids up with a hug, and give them a few extra hugs today.

  2. Read Michelle Nicols’ book

    Try to find and read Michelle Nichols' book, “Hug Your Kids Today! 5 Key Lessons for Every Parent.” In this book, she reflects on the 10 years since her son’s passing.

  3. Hug a loved one

    If you don’t have kids, you could even hug your parents or friends. You may even want to surprise your nieces or nephews with a big, warm hug.

5 Facts About Hugging That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. It makes a child smarter

    Hugging is one of the most important stimuli required to grow a healthy brain.

  2. It may alleviate phobias

    Research shows that hugs significantly reduce a person’s existential fears.

  3. Well-hugged babies are less stressed as adults

    Hugging relieves stress and teaches children how to cope with it as adults.

  4. Most of us hug with our right hand

    Most people lead with their right arm when going in for a hug.

  5. Hugging reduces social anxiety

    Oxytocin inspires positive thinking and gives us an optimistic outlook on the world.

Why We Love Global Hug Your Kids Day

  1. It makes kids feel loved

    Hugging is the easiest way to show your kids that you love them. Remember, unlike adults, kids need regular assurances of love and security from their parents.

  2. It’s good for you

    Hugging is good for your emotional and physical well-being. Hugging your kids more often will not only make them happy but also keep your blood pressure and heart in the best shape.

  3. It makes everyone happy

    Hugging makes you feel calm and comforted. It’s a great way to express love, gratitude, and empathy towards your loved ones.

Global Hug Your Kids Day dates

YearDateDay
2022July 18Monday
2023July 17Monday

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