Hugging is a simple way to express many different types of affection, from friendly, intimate, to family.

It is an action largely limited to primates: while we can find instances of other animals in positions that resemble cuddles, there is no other species that does it so often and for so many reasons, and therefore many manners, joint hugs us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. However, it is not just a differentiator: studies show that hugging releases oxytocin, known as the “hug hormone,” which can help strengthen social ties. So on June 29, we celebrate Hug Holiday. Get your hug today!

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Hug Holiday (June29) Activities

Start a “free hug” campaign

You’ve seen the videos: a random person standing on a crowded sidewalk holding a “free hugs” sign. Passers-by are initially skeptical, but eventually give way. Everyone wants a free hug! You don’t have to film your effort to collect all the free oxytocin!

Hug a friend

For some of us, hugging is part of everyday life. But for others, they may be few and far between. If you have noticed that one of your friends could use a hug, they will probably appreciate the offer! Consider asking first, however. They all have different comfort zones!

Schedule a hug

Sometimes life becomes so full that we forget about our basic needs. It may seem overkill, but scheduling hugs with a person you love can be an effective way to make sure you understand your hugs!

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WHY WE LOVE HUG DAY

They bring us closer

The literal part is obvious (you can’t be far away if you’re locked in a hug!), But as we pointed out in Hug Holiday’s description, hugging releases oxytocin into our bodies, helping to strengthen social ties. It also brings that warm fuzzy feeling that comes after a hug, and who doesn’t want more of that?

They help defend against disease.

A study published by Psychological Science found that many hugs lead to “less severe disease symptoms.” In everyday terms, that means that people with many hugs in their lives get sick, sick less than people without hugs.

They are free

It is not often that you find something that avoids diseases and brings us closer to the people we love, but when is it free? Hug each other, people!

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