National Hugging Day 2022: January 21 marks the National Hugging Day in the USA and UK. A beautiful, thoughtful expression of love and support, a ‘hug’ is that wonderful gesture that can speak louder than words if given at the right moment. On the occasion of the National Hugging Day, let’s take a look at its history and significance:
NATIONAL HUGGING DAY: HISTORY
National Hugging Day was first celebrated in 1986 in Clio, Michigan, USA. Kevin Zaborney was the one to coin this idea. The concept dawned on him when he observed during the holidays that people seemed to be a little low in spirit, especially between the gap that follows after Christmas, New Year, and Valentine’s Day.
He figured out that during this stretch of the year, to ensure people are in high spirits and don’t feel depressed or lonely, it is best to introduce a day like Hugging Day. Kevin felt that the American society was kind of embarrassed to express feelings in public, so a day like this would change that, probably. He had also asked people to always respect personal space of others, and act accordingly.
NATIONAL HUGGING DAY: SIGNIFICANCE
The underlying significance behind this beautiful initiative is to encourage people to be more compassionate and demonstrate their emotions in a more pronounced manner. Given the changing times, people tend to feel lonely and isolated. Hugging helps establish connections with one another. It’s a beautiful way to show support and empathy. The introduction of National Hugging Day aims to transform the way people look at their emotions.
Hugging ushers in joy and boosts bonds between people. Not only does it bring positivity and sweetness in relationships, hugging is also known for its other beneficial aspects such as stress reduction, better heart health and improved immunity. Hugging generates oxytocin in the brain which is a chemical (neurotransmitter) that is responsible for happiness.
Owing to the pandemic, when social distancing norms are to be followed, a virtual hug or a gesture that goes on to embody the spirit of National Hugging Day would be perfect to propagate this heartwarming initiative. Be it with virtual hugs or generous words, attitude and actions, people can continue to embrace each other and make each other feel safe and cheerful.