Saturday, January 21st is “National Hugging Day!” Hugging your child is a simple act and you probably do it multiple times a day. But did you know your child may benefit from your embrace long after a hug is shared?
There is a specific website dedicated to National Hugging Day, nationalhuggingday.com, which provides a list of 10 Benefits of Hugging:
- Hugs make us feel “happy”. When we hug another person, our bodies release oxytocin, a hormone associated with “happiness,” according to scientific studies.
- Hugs alleviate stress. Just as a good hug increases our oxytocin levels, it decreases our cortisol or “stress” levels.
- Babies need hugs as much as water and food. According to researchers at Harvard University, hugs help promote normal levels of cortisol necessary for child development.
- Hugs make us better students. Students who receive a supportive touch from a teacher are twice as likely to volunteer in class.
- Hugs improve our game. Scientists at University of California, Berkley discovered that the more affectionate members of a team are with each other, the more likely they are to win.
- A hug a day keeps the doctor away. A hug stimulates the thymus gland, which in turn regulates the production of white blood cells that keep us healthy and disease-free.
- A hug stops the bug. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon proved that individuals who were sick and received hugs had less severe symptoms and were able to get better quicker.
- A hugging heart is a healthy heart. Research from University of North Carolina showed that a good hug helps ease blood flow and lower cortisol levels, which in turn help lower our heart rates.
- A hugging couple is a happy couple. Couples that experience their partners’ love through physical affection share higher oxytocin levels.
- Hugs let someone know you care without having to say a word. According to Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology at University of California, Berkeley, we can identify love from simple human touch – imagine how much love a big hug can communicate!
Be sure to give your child extra hugs today!