“We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day to thrive.” Virginia Satir
Before yesterday, I did not know that there exists a registry where anyone can apply for a national holiday. National Hug Day was thought up in 1986 by a guy in Michigan. His grand idea was to encourage people to hug their loved ones at a time of the year when Michigan is lousy and makes you definitely not want to hug people. I lived in Michigan’s armpit (Ohio) for seven long years. November through March was about as abysmal as life can get but January was a special kind of misery, so I understand the desire to be hugged.
Today was National Hug Day. So guess what I did? Yup, I celebrated by hugging everyone who would let me. And almost everybody did. I hugged co-workers and semi-strangers, sent cyber hugs through email, hug texts and phone-call hugs. I hugged a few trees just for good measure. Thank you to all of the people who gave and received hugs, I needed each one of them.
Fun facts about hugging:
- Hugging increases levels of the “love hormone” oxytocin, which is beneficial for stress levels, heart health, and more
- A 20-second hug reduces the harmful physical effects of stress, including its impact on your blood pressure and heart rate
- A 10-second hug a day may fight infections, boost your immune system, ease depression and lessen fatigue
- The giver of a hug receives just as much benefit as the receiver, but some research suggests the healthiest hugs must come from someone you trust (as opposed to a stranger – like me, no matter how much they are into it)
Peace within, Peace between, Peace among