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giving happiness global impact

Missing Your Daily Hug? Here Is A Great Alternative

Are you missing your daily hug? Oh the daily hug…it has gone by the wayside as we socially distance, doing foot bumps instead of friendly hellos, and exchange a warm hug for a wave outside the social acceptable distance of 2 meters/6 feet. It is odd. I have to admit it is odd to not hug a friend you have not seen in person for months. It is odd to see a friend on the street and slap the side of your feet together in the new acceptable greeting that keeps us apart. Even the hand heart many of us are doing does not replace a good old hug. UUUggghhh.

I get it, we do it, and we will continue to not hug as we wait for COVID to settle down. But I have to admit, I feel something missing in my life. I miss the hug.

Why Hugging Is Important And Needed

This is why you are missing your daily hug. Hugging a friend or family member does something to us. There is a positive neurological response that has us coming back for more. When we hug another we release, both the hugger and the ‘huggee’, oxytocin, commonly known as our love hormone. Oxytocin is one hormone that increases our happiness and decreases our stress.  It influences mood, behaviour and physiology. It has the ability to alleviate social anxiety and produce feelings of trust. Sound familiar?

If you review the research on giving and happiness, similar brain responses occur when we give. Thankfully we get a few more neurotransmitters firing off to increase our happiness even more, but our Oxycontin increases, just like hugging. Hmmm.

So lets put this together. We are in a time when hugging and touching others outside of our bubble is not okay. To help the spread of COVID-19, public health professionals and doctors are asking us all to keep our distance. And we are. We are contributing to the public health of our communities by forgoing our hugs. But we still need that shot of oxytocin to keep our happiness up. And right now happiness is super important.

What we found is that keeping our daily giving going virtually and in person, has keep our happiness at a manageable level while everything else has changed. While giving every day we feel like we are giving our community both local and globally a great big virtual hug! Our bodies and minds also think our daily giving is great as we are firing off our oxytocin on a daily basis. I will fill you in on a secret. We are also firing off some other super important neurontransmitters as well, our endorphins, serotonin and dopamine. We are also decreasing our coritisol, our stress hormone.

So if we can’t hug outside our bubble at the moment, why not get our love hormone working and increase our happiness another way, by completing small acts of giving.

Missing Your Daily Hug

Replace Your Hugging With Small Acts of Giving

So if hugging is out of bounds at the moment, why not replace it with small acts of giving. Your happiness will increase and you can remain socially distanced as you give. I have tested this idea during the last few months and giving is a great replacement. When we can start hugging again, your hug can be a give (twice the happiness power) but you can still keep giving even as you hug your way through your day. More happiness to spread around!

Sign up for a free 365give community membership and find simple ways to give everyday that keeps your well being well tuned. Hugging will return, but in the meantime, try out daily giving to give you that much needed love hormone boost that will keep you happy.


What people are saying about 365give

“I wanted to express my gratitude for the teaching you provided today. Your message was delivered eloquently, compassionately, and without judgment. The kids were engaged, and now have knowledge with which they can change the world. We all appreciated how you took the time to help us learn to build positive mindsets and practice happiness.”
Shelley Gardner, Grade 6 Ridgeview Elementary (West Vancouver)
“Actions really do speak louder than words, which is why I believe the 365give Challenge has resonated throughout my community. Every give we do is so important to us and leaves us happier and appreciating our lives a little bit more than before.”
Mahina Niyozova (Tajikistan)
“After watching the 365give TEDx Talk, I was inspired to join and begin a daily giving program in India. Today, along with 12 other volunteer women, we provide 100 meals to local underprivileged children in Bangalore for school every day.”
Deepika Ahuja, Mom (Bangalore, India)
“My life has greater meaning now.”
Renate Jorge, @BeKindBrazil and 365give Member, Family Program (Brazil)
“I just wanted to share that 365give really helped me. I am a better person now, thank you.”
MayLee, 365give Member, Individual Program
“This 365give Challenge has really injected excitement and extra enthusiasm in each work day as I think about what we can do. It has motivated me and the students.”
Cristina Peters, School Counselor (New York City, USA)
“I have seen a huge shift in energy throughout my classroom since doing the 365give Challenge. The Challenge has empowered my students to make a positive difference in the school’s community and beyond.”
Cella Adriana, Special Needs Educator /The Holliswood School (New York City, USA)
“The 365give Challenge helps students understand their impact on others. It opens avenues for introducing and discussing global and local issues in classrooms. It is powerful to watch students of all ages think about how they can make a change in another person’s life with one small act.”
Jessica Hall, Primary Teacher, French Immersion at École Pauline Johnson (West Vancouver, Canada)