THE SPECKTATOR

Embrace National Hug Week

It's good for you!

My favorite person to hug: my brother Billy.
Posted

Kerry Speckman shares her unique perspective and observations on people, places and events on the First Coast and beyond. She's also the 2012 winner of Jacksonville Dancing With the Stars, so she's got that going for her.

Contact Kerry by email or follow her on Twitter.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could reduce anxiety and stress, lower your blood pressure and risk of heart disease, and help build your immune system without medication, exercise or even visiting the doctor?

According to researchers, you can, and it’s easy as opening your arms and giving someone a hug.

Sponsored by the Hugs for Health Foundation (HHF), National Hug Week, May 6-12, was created to “increase hug abundance on the planet.”

In celebration of this heartwarming holiday, I aim to fill my “daily hug prescription,” as suggested by HHF (four for survival, eight for maintenance and 12 for growth), every day next week.

And I encourage you to do the same, keeping in mind, of course, HHF's Proper Hug Etiquette (aka The Rules to Safe Hugging):

  1. Always respect another's space.
  2. Ask permission before hugging.
  3. A hug is a compassionate gesture, hug accordingly.
  4. A hug is a gentle embrace, not the Heimlich Maneuver.
  5. Be "in" the hug; don't simply go through the motion.

Even if you can't embrace in person, you can hug others virtually via email, text or social media using one of these seven hug emoticons.

I'll be sharing my Hug Week experiences right here—pictures and all—so stay tuned. In the mean time, let's take a moment, shall we, to review HHF's Hugger's Creed: 

We believe HUGS nurture the human spirit, promote a more positive outlook  and enhance the quality of one's life.

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