When is National Hugging Day 2022?
The simplest and most effective way of expressing affection is celebrated on National Hugging Day on January 21. Even though a hug is one of the most natural gestures, it’s not practiced enough these days! This holiday encourages hugging, as a therapeutic way to convey affection and emotions.
History of National Hugging Day
National Hugging Day was created in 1986 by Kevin Zaborney. His friend was the granddaughter of the proprietors of Chase’s Calendar of Events. Zaborney chose January 21 because it was the time between the winter holiday season and the new year’s birthdays, which he noticed was a time people tend to feel low in spirits. He also felt that Americans were often too embarrassed to show affection in public and hoped National Hugging Day would change that, though he never actually thought it would catch on.
The word “hug” is believed to come from the word “hugga” meaning “to comfort” in the Old Norse language, first appearing approximately 450 years ago. However, the history of hugging itself is a bit more uncertain. What is known is that it is only very recently (within the past 50 years) that we have seen a full acceptance of hugging in public, separating it from other distinguished displays of affection such as kissing. The widespread adoption of hugging over the recent years has been debated to be due to two primary reasons: the reduced formality of dress code and manners between relationships, along with the changing behaviors of political figures in pursuit of a more relatable, warm-hearted perception to the public.
Nowadays, we don’t even think about the fact that hugging in public was considered indecent PDA. We hug to greet friends and family, to say goodbye, or to congratulate someone. To console someone or to show support. We hug before sports and performance teams begin their match, and to show a general sign of affection between intimate relationships. There are also Free Hugs charity fundraisers!
National Hugging Day timeline
Derived from the Old Norse word "hugga" or to comfort, the OG hug enters vocabularies around this time.
According to one of the top Detroit PR Firms, National Hugging Day was first celebrated on January 21, 1986 in Clio, Michigan
National Hugging Day is a hit in Germany
Chris Christie and Barak Obama share a brief embrace on the President's visit to New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy.
National Hugging Day Traditions
The best way National Hugging Day is celebrated is by spreading the love and offering a hug to your friends and family. It’s amazing how much difference a simple hug can make. Spend your day letting your nearest and dearest know that you’re there for them by giving them hugs and lifting their spirits.
National Hug Day Stats
12 hugs a day
You might not actively think about how many times you’re hugging someone a day, but apparently, reaching a specific “hugging quota” is crucial for your development. Family therapist Virginia Satir says “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” It sounds like a lot, but you might be fulfilling the numbers easily without even thinking about it on a daily basis! We can thank our friends, family, and loved ones for that!
In a 2015 study involving 404 healthy adults, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University examined the effect of perceived social support and the receipt of hugs on the participants’ susceptibility to developing the common cold after being exposed to the virus. People who perceived greater social support were less likely to come down with a cold, and researchers calculated that the stress-buffering effects of hugging explained 32% of that beneficial effect. Even among those who got a cold, those who felt greater social support and received more frequent hugs had less severe symptoms.
20 seconds for the perfect hug
Though the average hug with a friend or family member is about 3 seconds long (a quick embrace before continuing a conversation), longer hugs — 20 seconds is recommended — are beneficial to your health. During a hug, we release oxytocin, a hormone that relaxes us and lowers anxiety. It’s often called the “cuddle hormone,” and when it’s released during these 20 second hugs it can effectively lower blood pressure and reduce the stress hormone norepinephrine.
National Hugging Day FAQs
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National Hugging Day Activities
Hug a friend
We’re sure you have tons of friends, you're popular person. And with tons of friends comes tons of hugs. Close your eyes and think about how much you love your friend when hugging him or her. Next, press as much as you feel like without squeezing too tight. Try out different hug variations with different friends and perfect your perfect hug. A hug is just like a handshake; everyone knows how to do it, but it takes a true master to do it right.
Hug a stranger
In this age of social disconnection and lack of human contact, most people are unsure how to go about hugging random people. However, hugging a stranger is more therapeutic than you think; the effects of giving free hugs to strangers are phenomenal. One method we suggest is holding a “free hugs” sign. That way, you know that the stranger consents to the hug you’re about to give them. It’s a lot less awkward and inappropriate than trying to hug a random stranger on the subway!
Getting a hug is a great feeling. It can instantly lift your mood, making you feel safe and appreciated. Sometimes, however, there isn’t anybody around to give you that hug you need. When you need it the most, wrap your hands around yourself and hug yourself tightly. You might think that’s weird, but hear us out. Friends are great, but you’re the star of your own life. And you should love yourself like a star! That means making lots of time for self-care and self-love. So self-hug away.
Why We Love National Hugging Day
Hugging builds trust
The nurturing touch of a hug builds trust and a sense of safety. This helps with open and honest communication. Hugs instantly help increase oxytocin levels, which heal and combat feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger. We can all take a lesson from this: next time, when you feel like fighting with your significant other, stop … and give your significant other a hug instead. It will give you time to calm down and remind you two of your close connection.
Hugging is healthy
Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum creates an emotional charge that activates the solar plexus chakra. This in turn stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells. Hugs also affect the nervous system. The galvanic skin response of someone receiving and giving a hug suggests a more balanced state in the nervous system post-hug. What does this all mean in English? It just means that hugs are good for you! They’re good for your emotional state, but they’re also good for your physical body. One might even say that hugs are the best medicine! (That being said, if you get sick, please go to a doctor. We’re not joking.)
Hugs may alleviate our fears
Scientists found that hugging — even if it was just an inanimate object like a teddy bear — helps soothe individuals’ existential fears. Interpersonal touch is such a powerful mechanism that even objects that can simulate touch by another person help instill a sense of existential significance. If you think about it, you’ll understand why: it doesn’t matter if we’re a tiny speck in the universe as long as you’re loved.
National Hugging Day dates