Today is National Hugging Day! Whether you prefer Bear Hugs, Heart-to-Heart Hugs, Cheek Hugs, or Side Hugs, embrace your loved ones today to show your love and affection.
Scientific studies have demonstrated that hugs are incredibly good for us. A hug can lower your blood pressure, trigger the release of healthy hormones (like oxytocin), and relieve stress. Doctors recommend a minimum of 4-6 hugs per day for our emotional and physiological well-being, but more is always better!
National Hug Day first began in 1986, and was started by Reverend Kevin Zaborney in Caro, Michigan. Zaborney believed that Americans in particular live in a society where showing feelings in public is embarrassing, and he wanted to change that by putting hugs in the spotlight one day out of the year (it’s true, studies have shown that French couples are three times as affectionate in public than Americans). He chose January 21 because it fell in between Christmas/New Year’s and Valentine’s Day; it’s also in the dead of winter, a time period where most people’s spirits are low, so seemingly a perfect time. Though it’s not a national holiday, National Hug Day is officially recognized by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The holiday has also since spread to other countries.
The record for most hugs given in one hour by an individual is 1,749. Nick Vujicic achieved this feat at an expo center in Oregon in 2010.