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International Hugging Day

On 21st January it takes place the International Hug Day. It was created by Kevin Zaborney, an American who was cared about the few signs of affection that people do in public, even when we refer to public signs of affection done to family or friends. He thought it was a great idea to create a national holiday who gives us the opportunity to do in public something most of us we like to do an to receive, a sign of love. As it is to give and to receive hugs.

Origin of this day

This celebration took place for the first time the 21st January 1986 in the village of Clio, Michigan. It started to become popular (as many other of these created national/international days of something) thanks to appear in Chase’s calendar of events. This is the biggest publication that presents all holidays, national days, historical milestones, famous birthdays, festivals etc. Luckily to Zaborney, the owner was the grandfather of one of his very best friends.

Benefits of hugging people

It can be seen as a banal action, but in fact, this show of love has many different benefits. Here I will mention some of them. For more, you can read this article or this one. Out of all the benefits, In my opinion, these are the most important ones:

  • Make you feel more confident
  • Provoke pleasure
  • Cover our affective needs
  • They help us to focus on our daily routine, and to keep happy and functional the rest of the day
  • Help to fight against our shyness, improving your communication
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduce your fears
  • Could lead to decrease depression
  • Give our immune system a healthy boost

How to celebrate International Hugging Day

There is only one possible way to celebrate this day and it is to giving hugs. You can start with your family and loved ones, your friends and also your acquaintances. Be sure that the person you will give a hug is opened to that! Be aware that sometimes is not the case. That’s why is important to explain about this day and your good intentions, before hugging.

In my case, since I am in an international exchange and I live in a different country, I can’t physically hug many people. In this case, a good idea is to use the power of words. Sending a message of love is also a great sign of affection, and in this case, it is as powerful as a hug.

We live in a world with more and more tension, due to wars, inflation, political crisis etc. Leaving all that things behind for a moment and just showing love is one of the best things we can do nowadays. Love is needed more than ever, and not just hug and show affection this day, but the rest of the days. It is good sometimes to celebrate these kinds of “silly” things just to remember us how important in fact they are.

Until next article, I give you a big hug.

P.S. Here I leave a link to a video of this “Free Hugs initiative”.