Today is International Hugging Day, SIA informs.
Hugging Day is an annual holiday created by Rev. Kevin Zaborney. It occurs on January 21 and is officially recognized by the United States Copyright Office, but is not a public holiday. The holiday was founded on January 21, 1986 in Michigan, and has since spread to multiple countries. The purpose for the holiday is to help everyone show more emotion in public. There is only one way you are supposed to celebrate the holiday, offer a hug to anyone and everyone you want. Whether you hug a family member or a stranger, the mental and physical health benefits are the same. Kevin Zaborney chose January 21 because it marks a midpoint between Christmas and Valentines day, where people are figured to be at their emotional low. Americans are embarrassed to show their feelings in public and hoped that a National Hug Day would change that. The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Medical School has found that French couples spend 3 times as much time touching when compared to Americans. Studies have shown that human contact has many health benefits. It has been found that human contact, such as a hug, is essential for healthy social, psychological and physical development. Hugging can also help build a good immune system, decrease the risk of heart disease, and decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol in women.