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In our ever-more-technologically connected world, the simple power of touch is often missed. A hug is an amazingly versatile way of expressing love, joy, comfort, and encouragement. A friendly embrace is a simple gift that can often speak what words are unable to convey.

January 21st is National Hug Day. To celebrate, learn about some of the amazing benefits of the humble hug.

Health Benefits

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The skin is the largest organ of the body, and every square inch is wired with nerve receptors that can sense pain, comfort, warmth, and even be tickled. A hug triggers thousands of these sensors at once and floods the body with oxytocin. Oxytocin is an amazing chemical the body produces naturally that helps relieve stress and produce feelings of calm and well-being. It may also be involved in lowering pain levels in the body.

A hug triggers the production and release of this chemical in the body, so when you give a hug you are helping produce calmness and a feeling of well-being not only in the person you hug, but in yourself as well! A hug is a gift not only for the receiver of the hug, but the giver as well.

Emotional Benefits

A hug helps reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. The calming effects of a hug appear to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, warding off the blues and making you feel better. It’s not your imagination; that hug really does help to make you feel a little better about things when you’re down. And while nothing can replace a good night’s sleep, serotonin is also a key factor in the wake/sleep cycle. Good serotonin levels can help you feel more awake during the day and sleep better at night. Next time you’re feeling those mid-afternoon sleepy feelings, maybe you need a hug!

Spiritual Benefits

National Hug Day | Pure Flix

The love of Christ compels us to show the same kindness and compassion He showed while He walked this earth. While there are many ways that one can show compassion, few things can make you feel as warm and appreciated as a firm hug. Why not “embrace” National Hug Day to begin spreading the compassion of Christ through the healing power of a hug?

Inspirational Movie Guide

Another way to spread uplifting feelings is by watching an encouraging movie. This Inspirational Movie Guide is free download and will give you some great ideas for an uplifting movie. The guide provides 11 great inspirational movies, filled with wholesome content you can trust. Watch with a friend to share the joy!

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