I’m taking part in a Kindness Challenge and I’m out to give hugs.

It’s crazy, it’s challenging, it’s fun, and it’s just simply AWESOME.

I’ve been hugging anyone and everyone. I’ve been writing thank-you notes to people I appreciate. I’ve been able to make people smile and I know I’ve been making a difference in the lives of others.

This is what life is about!

Over the past few days as I’ve been taking part in the challenge, I’ve come to learn just how powerful a simple hug can actually be. We often feel its inappropriate to give a hug, but you know what, I gave a bank teller a bit of a hug the other day!

The bank teller helped me for about 20 minutes while I cancelled my credit card insurance (another LifeHack tip, DON’T get credit card insurance). After the painstakingly long process and discovering the fact that I will no longer have to pay a premium each month, I simply went around the teller’s desk and gave her a nice, big, juicy hug.

SHE LOVED IT!

It’s such a simple but powerful form of human touch.

There are so many benefits of hugging. Let me outline the 3 most important reasons you should hug anyone and everyone in countdown order.

3)   Hugging Reduces Illness

Hugging is one of the best methods of easing depression. Not only that, it reduces the risk of heart disease, relieves stress and can make you feel calmer.

Studies have shown that hugging can lead to lower blood pressure, and reduces the risk of heart disease. When we hug someone, a hormone called oxytocin is released (otherwise known as the ‘love hormone’!). This helps to reduce stress and makes us feel calmer.

Ultimately, if you’re feeling down, stressed or anxious, go give someone a hug and feel the instant change in your mood!

2)   Hugging Deepens Your Relationships

When you think of people who have hugged you, how do you feel about them?

I’m sure you feel pretty good!

Hugging releases a suite of hormones including oxytocin (as above), serotonin, and dopamine that lead to feelings of happiness and love. What else do you need to feel good when all you need to do is simply hug someone?

Not only do you make yourself feel good, but also you are making the other person release all the same hormones of happiness.

Hugging builds trust and can deepen your relationship. It shows that you care and it provides comfort for the other person.

1)    Hugging Can Change the World

A hug could be the exact thing that someone needs right now. Without even knowing it, you could be changing the life of that person.

They may have had the worst day possible, and you have been the angel that lights up their day.

You can change the day, the week, the month or the life of another person simply by giving him or her a hug.

When I gave the bank teller a spontaneous hug out of the blue, her face lit up in a huge smile and I’m sure it made her day. Maybe she went home and told her family about it and she may have even had the courage to give someone else a spontaneous hug. Hugging pays forward.

What’s the best part about it? Hugs are free and they can be given anytime.

Who have you hugged today?

Featured photo credit:  A happy couple in love via Shutterstock

Love this article? Share it with your friends on Facebook