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Happiness Happens Challenge Day 26

Updated: Sep 16, 2022

For today's challenge, give a 20 second hug!

Why hug?

A 20-second hug reduces the harmful effects of stress, relieves blood pressure, and ensures a healthy heart.


Why does hugging make us happier?

Something about the act of hugging increases feel good hormones in our bodies.

  • Hugs increase dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin levels. That means you will feel happier, feel more loving to those around you, increase heart health, and feel less stressed and anxious.

  • Studies have found that even people who hug a pillow during stressful phone conversations are less stressed.

  • Hugs help create attachments to increase the quality of your relationships.

  • Hugs help release the parasympathetic system which builds up tense feelings as a response to perceived threats. In common terms - it will physically relieve stress.

Now, you may face some sexual harassment charges if you try to go around giving 20 second hugs at work, but even getting a 20 second hug from a loved one before a stressful event, like a big presentation, has been shown to lower stress levels. You can try to incorporate some touch as well, as simply by touching someone we can have some positive effect on hormone levels and relationship building.

How can you do it?

  • To do a proper 20 second hug, each of you should be standing equally on your feet (no one leaning into the other more and each supporting your own weight). Twenty seconds may feel quite long if you have never done it intentionally, but you will feel greater effects if you can last.

  • Even a ten second hug can improve your immunity and lessen depression and fatigue.

  • If you want to incorporate touch at work, it is usually safe to touch even strangers briefly on the hand, and acquaintances on their arms, but try not to linger.

Who will you hug today?

“What 20 Seconds of Hugging Can Do for You.” Psychology Today, 2022, Accessed 26 Aug. 2022.

Kumar, Karthik. “How Do Hugs Make You Feel?” MedicineNet, MedicineNet, 3 Dec. 2020, Accessed 26 Aug. 2022.

Tinker, Ben. “Where We like Being Touched, Where We Don’t and Why.” CNN, CNN, 30 Oct. 2015, Accessed 26 Aug. 2022.


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