10 facts they never told you about hugging

Spoon, squeeze, snuggle – however you say it, National Hug Day is on its way! So, we thought we’d give you all the facts they never told you about a good old cuddle…

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    1. Hugging releases the hormone oxytocin

    Known as the love hormone, oxytocin makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside and has a tonne of benefits. For starters, did you know it can regenerate your muscles? It also inspires positive thinking and helps you have an optimistic outlook on life. Yay!

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    2. 8 hugs a day is the optimal amount

    Neuroeconomist Paul Zak, who (apparently) is known as ‘Dr Love,’ recommends at least eight hugs a day to be happier and enjoy better relationships. Psychotherapist Virginia Satir also said, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” You heard it here, guys.

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    3. It’s great for your mental health too

    Hugging has been proven to be a natural stress reliever, and studies have shown that it also causes decreased feelings of loneliness and can also ease depression.

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    4. On average, people spend an hour a month hugging

    That doesn’t sound like much, but when you consider that the average hug is just under 10 seconds long… that’s a lot of hugs! Speaking of which, did you know that a 10 second hug a day can fight infections, boost your immune system and lessen fatigue…?

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    5. Cuddle parties are now a thing

    Let us explain. A cuddle party / workshop is a structured event where you can relax and meet new people… by hugging. Yep – you hug strangers, but it’s apparently super relaxing and a fun way to make new friends. Whatever you think of them, one thing we can guarantee is that you’re going to love this clip of Karl Pilkington attending a cuddle party on An Idiot Abroad.

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    6. Hugs give you more energy

    Struggle to get up on Monday morning? Same. And, while we can’t change the fact that the weekend is over once again, we can help you get that much needed energy boost. It has been proven that frequent hugs can make you feel over 20% more energetic. So what are you waiting for? Whether it’s your mom, friend or neighbour’s cat – go and hug someone!

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    7. They improve your sleep quality too

    Ditch those sleepy teas, moisturisers and lavender oil. It has been said that people who get frequent hugs sleep 21% better than their lower contact counterparts.

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    8. Hugging boosts self-esteem

    Science time! Basically, the cuddles that we receive at childhood from our parents remain imprinted in our nervous system at a cellular level. This means that hugs we get as adults remind us of that. This means that the hugs we get as adults remind us of those times and can help us boost our self-esteem.

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    9. Hugs encourage mindfulness

    … don’t you think? They teach us to let go, be present in the moment and flow with the energy of life. Hugs get you out of your circular thinking patterns and connect you with your heart, feelings and breath.

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    10. And finally… they’re free!

    You don’t have to pay a single penny to access loads of amazing health and wellbeing benefits. What could be better?

To celebrate National Hug Day, we want to hear who you’d like to share a hug with. In doing so, you could win a whopping £250! Just enter via our Facebook page to win. Good luck!


Competition Terms & Conditions

  1. Prize draw is available to enter via Facebook only by commenting on National Express Facebook post.
  2. There is one prize available to win which is £250. Prize allocation is random, the adjudicator’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  3. The prize draw runs from 07 January 2018 and closes at midnight on 18 January 2018. Winner will be drawn and announced on 19 January 2018 via the National Express Facebook page.
  4. The winner will be contacted via Facebook, using the contact details provided.
  5. Entrants must be aged 18 or over and reside in the UK.
  6. Employees of National Express, related companies, their families and agencies and associated companies, are not eligible to participate in the competition.
  7. No purchase is necessary.
  8. No responsibility can be accepted for lost or misplaced entries and incomplete entries will be disregarded.
  9. National Express reserves the right to modify or terminate any prize draw at any time.
  10. By entering the prize draw, the entrant accepts these terms and conditions.