National Hug Day: Scientific benefits of hugging it out

National Hug Day: Scientific benefits of hugging it out

Life moves much faster as people age. With endless priorities and increasingly longer lists of responsibilities, life doesn’t wait for anyone. It feels like people have no choice but to keep up. Still, in a world that moves at a hectic pace, one might forget the remedy needed from time to time — a hug. The best part? It’s free.

How many hugs is one getting exactly each day? Reach out to friends, family and even acquaintances because today, Jan. 21 is National Hug Day and one might never know how much they need it.

People tend to underestimate the power of hugging. If one isn’t still aware, hugs have been scientifically proven to reduce stress levels and promote overall well-being.

Medical benefits

According to Healthline, the act of hugging not only provides emotional support but also has various health benefits.

One significant benefit of hugging is stress reduction; when comforting a friend or family member through a hug, both parties experience decreased stress levels. Research involving couples revealed that the brain regions associated with stress exhibited reduced activity in the person being comforted, suggesting a physiological response to the act of hugging.

Furthermore, the health benefits of hugs extend to potential protection against illness. Studies indicate that individuals with a strong support system, marked by frequent hugs, are less likely to get sick. Even if they do fall ill, the symptoms tend to be less severe compared to those with minimal social support.

Additionally, hugging has been linked to heart health improvements, as observed in a study where romantic partners who engaged in physical contact, including hugging, exhibited greater reductions in blood pressure and heart rate compared to those who did not engage in such touch.

The health website also reports that family therapist Virginia Satir said that people need 12 hugs a day for growth, eight hugs a day for maintenance and four hugs a day for survival.

Language of love

A tight embrace can express a depth of love that words cannot adequately convey. The warmth and comfort it provides impart a calming effect on people’s minds and bodies. When the mind is overwhelmed with too many emotions, a hug can simply bring quietude. Similarly, when the body is feeling much tension, a hug can offer a sense of rest.

For those who may not have a constant supply of human hugs, don’t worry. National Hug Day encourages people to embrace ourselves with self-love or turn to our furry friends for a dose of affection. Whether one is hugging a pet or giving themselves a comforting squeeze, the positive effects on their well-being remain just as potent.

Today is dedicated to the sweet embrace of life and love. Spreading hugs and encouraging the people around to share it freely must be a daily reminder. It’s a celebration of the warmth, compassion and healing power that hugs bring into people’s lives. Go ahead, open your arms wide and embrace the joy of National Hug Day. Make the world a little brighter, one hug at a time.


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