Free Hugs quiz to prolong the positive effect of National Hug Day!
National Hug Day has been observed in the US on January, 21 since 1986. The date was chosen by the inventor of the holiday, Kevin Zaborney, because it was between Christmas and St. Valentine’s Day – the break between the love-filled holidays is so long that people start feeling low.
A simple quick hug can work wonders. If you need scientific proof, here are a few fun facts about hugging (make sure you read them carefully before you take the Hug Day quiz – you may find some useful tips in here):
- Hugging stimulates the production of oxytocin, also well-known as the “love hormone,” which has a great positive impact on physical and emotional health. An increase in oxytocin lowers blood pressure as well as heart rate; reduces stress (primarily through the decrease of cortisol – the stress hormone – production); fights fatigue, anxiety, depression and even infections, reduces inflammation and heals wounds; gives your immunity a boost; combats fear and decreases the feeling of loneliness; raises self-esteem and mood in general. What’s more, oxytocin helps to reduce the cravings for sweet food, addictive substances and alcohol.
- Unfortunately, many people lack human warmth and support. One-third of people confessed they do not receive a single hug on a usual day, and 75% feel they do not get enough hugs.
- You probably know about the Free Hugs campaign, a social movement that promotes offering hugs to strangers in public places. However, scientists have not determined yet whether it’s just hugs or hugs from your close ones that help improve your physical and emotional health. So far, there is a study that proves that only hugs that involve trust can be beneficial and that hugs from strangers may even produce a reverse effect because they may be perceived as an emotional burden or even a threat. However, you do not need to hug a person to feel better – cuddling with a pet may be as beneficial as a hug from your loved one. In fact, thanks to it, pet owners can even boast of recovering from illness much quicker!
- An average person spends an hour a month hugging! It may not seem much, but if you take an average hug that doesn’t last more than 10 seconds and do the math, you’ll see that an hour is really quite a lot!
- Hugging has a positive impact on child development. Children who do not get enough hugs reach their milestones like walking, talking, or reading later than those who are hugged often enough.
Psychotherapist Virginia Satir once said: “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth." Let’s show love and appreciation to our close ones by hugging them whenever we (or they) feel like it. And let’s play the Hug Day quiz to learn a few more amazing trivia facts about hugging – it’s a great chance to earn up to 200 WisePoints in just a few minutes and let the feeling of achievement produce a positive effect on your emotional health, too!