Share a Hug Day in The Villages FL
Share a Hug Day is celebrated every year in the United States on July 30.
The idea behind it is to let the people close to you know that you love and appreciate them by hugging them.
Hugs are especially beneficial for people that are feeling down, as being surrounded by the arms of another person and the warmth of their body, communicates a sense of empathy, security, and solidarity.
Anytime is a great time to share a hug with someone willing to receive or give one.
HISTORY OF SHARE A HUG DAY
The creator of Share a Hug Day was Mike Brundritt. He used to be married to a woman he had been in a relationship with for 19 years, and they had two sons. On the afternoon of July 30, 2017, they were returning home from a camping trip. A transport truck hit them from behind while they were traveling. Brundritt and his youngest son survived the tragedy, but his wife and oldest son died instantly.
Since then, Brundritt and his son have had mental issues, and he is still recovering from back injuries. One year later, a few days before the first anniversary of the accident, he started thinking about ways to honor and remember his wife and son. He remembered how often he and his family would share hugs, as a greeting, as a goodbye, or just to show their love. He also remembered the many hugs shared with his friends after the accident. Thus, he decided to start a hug day to honor their lives.
On July 30, 2018, he wrote a post on his Facebook profile: “We have days of the year designated for different things: National Coffee Day, National Ice Cream Day, etc. I would like your help in starting National Share a Hug Day. July 30th is the anniversary of the loss of my son and wife and I want to try to honor the love that we shared by starting something special. I am not sure how to get this going, but for now, I think word of mouth will work. Please go and hug someone today to help get this movement started.”
HOW TO OBSERVE SHARE A HUG DAY
- Hug your loved ones
Let them know that they are loved and appreciated. Just remember to ask for permission first — it’s their body after all.
- Think about how often you show affection to others
Sometimes we don’t show people directly how much we love them. Try to reflect on this for a bit and why that may be. Men, in particular, are often discouraged from being frank about their feelings with their male friends — perhaps we can change that.
- Share your thoughts on social media
Write a post about Share a Hug Day, Mike Brundritt’s story, or ask your followers when was the last time they hugged someone or were hugged. Don’t forget to use the #ShareAHugDay hashtag, and spread the love.
5 SURPRISING FACTS ABOUT HUGS
- They release oxytocin
Oxytocin is a hormone that underlies individual and social trust and works as an antidote to depressive feelings.
- They help alleviate our fears
A study on fears and self-esteem revealed that hugs and touch significantly reduce the worry of mortality, even if it was an inanimate object like a teddy bear.
- They lower blood pressure
When someone touches you, the sensation activates pressure receptors called ‘Pacinian corpuscles,’ which send signals to the vagus nerve — an area of the brain that is responsible for lowering blood pressure.
- They strengthen our immune system
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University asked 400 healthy adults about the number of times they experienced interpersonal conflict and the number of hugs they received each day, and then exposed them to the common cold virus to discover that perceived social support and hugs reduced the risk of infection.
- The average hug lasts 3.17 seconds
It was discovered in a study led by Emese Nagy, from the University of Dundee.
WHY SHARE A HUG DAY IS IMPORTANT
- It’s a day to show others our affection
As we’ve said, showing our loved ones how much we appreciate them through a physical act, maybe something we don’t do enough. This is a day in which we can think about that and fix it.
- Brundritt’s story is deeply touching
Grief is not an easy thing to deal with, and Brundritt’s story reminds us how important having the compassion of others is to overcome it. If you know someone who has been dealing with the death of a person important to them, consider using this day to check in on them.
- It’s a day that can improve our health
Hugs do wonders for our physical and mental health. They improve our immune systems and individual and social trust and reduce blood pressure, stress, depression, and worry of mortality.
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