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Today, the 21st January, is National Hugging Day, created by Rev. Kevin Zaborney and originally launched in in the United States in 1986. (Wikipedia).

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There are not only social benefits of giving and receiving hugs, but scientific ones as well. According to an article in Mind, Body, Green, by Marcus Julian Felicetti, “research shows the nurturing touch of a hug builds trust and a sense of safety. This helps with open and honest communication…They can strengthen our immune system… boosts our self-esteem…and instantly boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger…”

In an article in Psychology Today, the benefits of hugs for the mind and body include: creating a sense of security, of positive feelings, they are good for our health and they give the idea of freedom.

A Huffington Post article lists some of the benefits of hugs as: they “make us feel good, lower blood pressure, can alleviate fears, can be good for our hearts and are a natural stress reliever”

Of course, it is important to ask first when giving hugs, as you don’t want to make the recipient uncomfortable or gain a sense of uncertainty  😉

(Written & performed by Zia Mohajerjasbi, in Memory of Ms. Rebequa Murphy, who passed away in 2008)

There is even a “Free Hugs” Campaign, which was started by “Juan Mann” in 2004 in Sidney Australia. The story goes that Mr. Mann returned home from abroad with the world of troubles, feeling depressed and no one to welcome him back home. “Standing there in the arrivals terminal, watching other passengers meeting their waiting friends and family, with open arms and smiling faces, hugging and laughing together, I wanted someone out there to be waiting for me. To be happy to see me. To smile at me. To hug me.

So I got some cardboard and a marker and made a sign. I found the busiest pedestrian intersection in the city and held that sign aloft, with the words “Free Hugs” on both sides.”

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See the video below and read more about the campaign here:

So, go on!
Share the love…. Give someone a Hug today!
It’s good for both of you 🙂

BUT DON’T FORGET TO ASK FIRST! 🙂 🙂

References:
1) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Hug_Day
2) http://www.nationalhuggingday.com/about_us
3) http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5756/10-Reasons-Why-We-Need-at-Least-8-Hugs-a-Day.html
4) http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/unified-theory-happiness/201406/4-benefits-hugs-mind-and-body
5) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/27/health-benefits-of-huggin_n_5008616.html
6) http://www.freehugscampaign.org/

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