Every Jan. 21 is National Hugging Day!

One of the many benefits of hugging includes lowering your stress.

Others include:

  1. Lowering your blood pressure. A study out of North Carolina found women who get hugs from their partners have higher levels of oxytocin which leads to lower blood pressure levels.
  2. Increases your pain tolerance. Researchers in London found that that same oxytocin produced by hugs upped pain threshold in patients.
  3. Increases your happiness. Holding a hug for an extended period increases your serotonin levels and elevates your mood.
  4. Balances your nervous system with skin to skin contact. That's why parents are encouraged to have skin to skin contact with their newborns.
  5. They’re good for your mental health because they teach you to be present in the moment.
  6. They are essential to life. A study out of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh found that not hugging could cause a person to become so depressed they stop eating and could die.

So how many do you need in a day? Pioneer family therapist Virginia Satir says that you need four hugs a day to survive, eight hugs a day for maintenance and 12 hugs a day for growth.

Go head, give a hug! But make sure you ask if it’s okay first. 😊