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Make it a Free Hug Day Today – Why Hugging Matters

why hugging matters - 365give
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A hug is a simple act that can brighten our outlook on a whole day. Hugging is how we great each other and say goodbye. We offer excited hugs in times of celebration and compassionate hugs in tougher times. Hugs just make us feel better. One study even noted that a single hug can increase feelings of happiness for a couple of days. Along with emotional benefits hugging has physical ones as well. Hugs  have been proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and increase a sense of calm.  It’s natural wonder that we can get so much from a simple  kind act. Hugging even  releases  the bonding hormone oxytocin in our brains. It gives us a warm, cozy feeling of closeness to one another.

Hugging Helps Kids Grow

Hugging is a special part of kids’ development. Hugging is a sweet way to communicate caring to a child and bring a smile to their face. It is also a way to reassure and calm down a little one when they’re feeling grumpy. Hugging, along with other positive behaviours like compliments, help a child develop a secure attachment to their parents and family. A secure attachment teaches a child how to have trusting and healthy relationships. It allows a child to feel confident  like a superhero. They’ll grow up taking risks through out life  and feel a sense of self worth as an adult. If a child does not have a secure attachment they will grow  up to be very anxious and have hard time forming relationships.

Hugs Keep Colds Away

Are you worried about getting sick in the winter season? Instead of reaching for vitamins reach out and give a hug. Studies have shown that  hugging can help strengthen you immune system. Even if you do end up getting sick having a lot of hugs in your life can make your cold less severe. The theory behind this is that the more hugs you get  the more likely you are seeking social support. Social support can reduce feelings of stress. Stress has been linked to making us  more likely to catch colds. So as a simple daily give make sure to give a hug. It is an easy way to show someone that you care for them.

Hugging Helps the Hugger

There can also be benefits to giving hugs as well. Giving someone a hug in a stressful situation can teach the hugger how to better handle stress. In one study people had to hold their partner’s hands as the partner was given electric shocks. After the study the hand holding partners reported they felt good that they could support their partner through a difficult situation. The hand holding partners were connected to a brain scan which showed that parts of the brain associated with caregiving were the most active. The hand holders learned they could feel good even when stressed out. These studies results could apply to hugging. So when a loved one is having a hard day reach out and give them a hug. It helps them and you.

Understandably not everyone is comfortable with hugging. Thankfully there’s are so many ways to give to people. I really enjoyed reading this post on buying someone a coffee. Another great giving idea to keep your daily giving going!

Elizabeth Wilkes
Elizabeth Wilkes
Elizabeth is a non-profit support worker from Toronto. She discovered 365give while searching for a volunteer position that could combine her desire to give back with her love of writing. She is a former child and youth worker. Currently she likes yoga, board games and classic movies.

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