On January 21, we celebrate Agnes, but above all we celebrate the benefits of cuddle therapy. A hug, whether shared with a friend, a significant other, or a family member, always brings a feeling of comfort. Happy coincidence of the calendar, the international day of hugs – National Hug Day – falls this year the day after the most depressing day of the year: Blue Monday!
Why the international day of hugs?
This day placed under the sign of care bears would have been established in 1986 by the American Reverend, Kevin Zaborney. Having noticed a drop in morale among his parishioners, between the end of the year-end holidays and Valentine’s Day, he wanted to encourage his parishioners to create fraternal bonds by hugging for a few seconds. A sign of tenderness that equates to a thousand words. As proof, by promoting the soxytocin cleavage – the hormone of love – the hug would have beneficial effects on our physical and moral health.
Since then, every January 21, men and women have been walking in public places proudly wearing “free hugs” signs (free hugs). These nice initiatives, very widespread in Anglo-Saxon countries, do not really meet their audience in France. Too bad, because these moments of close contact do good to body and soul.
Hugs to fight stress
A hug helps instantly release pressure in case of stress. As amazing as it may sound, human contact can lower blood pressure and slow heart rate, while producing endorphins – well-being hormones. The next time you feel anxiety rising, consider asking for a hug urgently!
In January 2016, we interviewed a clinical psychologist to find out more. His explanations in this article:
The benefits of hugs, at all ages
There is no age to enjoy – or not – hugs. It is well known that cuddling a baby from an early age is essential for his future emotional balance. It is thus helped to fight against stress, and to grow well. In 2017, Canadian researchers even showed that the importance of physical contact during our early childhood can change our genes.
Seniors, who are more vulnerable, are also very sensitive to physical contact. A hug, a hug, a handshake, or even a smile are sometimes enough to establish a close bond and put a smile on someone’s face. So do not hesitate to hug the children and the elderly around you.
Hugs are good for you
For improve resistance against viruses winter, nothing like a long hug! To avoid physical contact, wrap up your “I wouldn’t want to pass my germs on to you” apologies. The skin to skin contact would have the effect of strengthening our antibodies. Studies have even proven that 5 to 10 minutes of cuddling per day will boost our immune system and help us fight certain cardiovascular diseases.
Hugs help fight the winter blues
In winter, the lack of light can cause seasonal depression which handicaps everyday life. Added to that the cold, the epidemics of gastro or flu, nostalgia for the end of the year holidays and the state of our post-holiday finances … it is an understatement to say that winter has a bad press in matters. of morale.
Lucky for us, the hug is a massive weapon of comfort which stimulates the production of anti-depression hormones such as endorphin, oxytocin or dopamine. It brings support, confidence, and above all warmth.
Hugs facilitate communication
When we cross a strong emotional periodWhether it is a happy event, an argument, an illness, the loss of a pet or the loss of a loved one, words are not always enough to translate our feelings. In this case, a hug turns out to be a non-verbal communication tool very effective. It doesn’t commit us to much but can mean so much to the person who receives it. So, what if we looked up from our screens more often to take care of our loved ones?
Note: no need to wait until January 21 to hug your loved ones – within the limit of consent.