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TueJul 30

Share a Hug Day – July 30, 2024

Share a Hug Day is celebrated every year in the United States on July 30. The idea behind it is to let the people close to you know that you love and appreciate them by hugging them. Hugs are especially beneficial for people that are feeling down, as being surrounded by the arms of another person and the warmth of their body, communicates a sense of empathy, security, and solidarity. Anytime is a great time to share a hug with someone willing to receive or give one.

History of Share a Hug Day

The creator of Share a Hug Day was Mike Brundritt. He used to be married to a woman he had been in a relationship with for 19 years, and they had two sons. On the afternoon of July 30, 2017, they were returning home from a camping trip. A transport truck hit them from behind while they were traveling. Brundritt and his youngest son survived the tragedy, but his wife and oldest son died instantly.

Since then, Brundritt and his son have had mental issues, and he is still recovering from back injuries. One year later, a few days before the first anniversary of the accident, he started thinking about ways to honor and remember his wife and son. He remembered how often he and his family would share hugs, as a greeting, as a goodbye, or just to show their love. He also remembered the many hugs shared with his friends after the accident. Thus, he decided to start a hug day to honor their lives.

On July 30, 2018, he wrote a post on his Facebook profile: “We have days of the year designated for different things: National Coffee Day, National Ice Cream Day, etc. I would like your help in starting National Share a Hug Day. July 30th is the anniversary of the loss of my son and wife and I want to try to honor the love that we shared by starting something special. I am not sure how to get this going, but for now, I think word of mouth will work. Please go and hug someone today to help get this movement started.”

Share a Hug Day timeline

The First Use Of The Word ‘Hug’

The actual origin of the word is unknown, but it has been compared to words from German, Old Norse, Old English, and more.

19th Century
Hugging is Too Personal and Intimate

During this era in the English-speaking world, hugging is seen as acceptable between women, and toward a sick patient, but it was too intimate for men.

Hugging Becomes More Casual

This is attributed to the increasing casualness of dress and manners, and the growing need for politicians to project a caring and warm persona, like Jimmy Carter.

Mike Brundritt Suffers an Accident

His wife and eldest son die but he and his youngest son survive.

Brundritt Creates Share a Hug Day

He proposes this day on his Facebook page to memorialize their dead on the first anniversary of the accident, and others all around the world share it.

Share a Hug Day FAQs

What are three types of hugs?

A friendly hug, a simple two-armed hug where both people’s chests are touching. The side hug, in which two people hug each other with their arms around either the waist or the shoulder of the other person while standing side by side. The most satisfying one is the bear hug, like a normal hug but closer, tighter and longer.

How do I send a virtual hug?

You can either send someone a GIF of a hug, found by simply typing ‘hug’ on the GIF keyboard, or the emoji of two figures embracing.

What is a romantic hug?

A romantic hug can be one where two people’s waists are aligned, they wrap their arms around each other’s waists, lean back, and stare at each other’s eyes.

How to Observe Share a Hug Day

  1. Hug your loved ones

    Let them know that they are loved and appreciated. Just remember to ask for permission first — it’s their body after all.

  2. Think about how often you show affection to others

    Sometimes we don’t show people directly how much we love them. Try to reflect on this for a bit and why that may be. Men, in particular, are often discouraged from being frank about their feelings with their male friends — perhaps we can change that.

  3. Share your thoughts on social media

    Write a post about Share a Hug Day, Mike Brundritt’s story, or ask your followers when was the last time they hugged someone or were hugged. Don’t forget to use the #ShareAHugDay hashtag, and spread the love.

5 Surprising Facts About Hugs

  1. They release oxytocin

    Oxytocin is a hormone that underlies individual and social trust and works as an antidote to depressive feelings.

  2. They help alleviate our fears

    A study on fears and self-esteem revealed that hugs and touch significantly reduce the worry of mortality, even if it was an inanimate object like a teddy bear.

  3. They lower blood pressure

    When someone touches you, the sensation activates pressure receptors called ‘Pacinian corpuscles,’ which send signals to the vagus nerve — an area of the brain that is responsible for lowering blood pressure.

  4. They strengthen our immune system

    Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University asked 400 healthy adults about the number of times they experienced interpersonal conflict and the number of hugs they received each day, and then exposed them to the common cold virus to discover that perceived social support and hugs reduced the risk of infection.

  5. The average hug lasts 3.17 seconds

    It was discovered in a study led by Emese Nagy, from the University of Dundee.

Why Share a Hug Day is Important

  1. It’s a day to show others our affection

    As we’ve said, showing our loved ones how much we appreciate them through a physical act, maybe something we don’t do enough. This is a day in which we can think about that and fix it.

  2. Brundritt’s story is deeply touching

    Grief is not an easy thing to deal with, and Brundritt’s story reminds us how important having the compassion of others is to overcome it. If you know someone who has been dealing with the death of a person important to them, consider using this day to check in on them.

  3. It’s a day that can improve our health

    Hugs do wonders for our physical and mental health. They improve our immune systems and individual and social trust and reduce blood pressure, stress, depression, and worry of mortality.

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