It's easy to take a hug for granted. As a mom, I probably dish out 10 to 20 hugs a day. And I try to be present for all of them; but, sometimes I'm in a rush or in a mood or in a _. But I know that an intentional, meaningful hug really does do the body (and mind! and soul!) good. 

After all, numerous studies show that hugs boost immune system responses, help fight disease and make us healthier. Hugs increase serotonin, which is the body’s natural antidepressant and helps us sleep. They have shown to reduce stress and anxiety, and promote relaxation.

Jan. 21st is National Hug Day and you should “squeeze the day.” Take a break through a meaningful hug with your loved ones, and make that feeling last for even longer by following these simple mantras.

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Keep it Real. Too often, hugs are superficial, just something we do out of habit. This year, focus on the hug and do it with purpose, as an expression of friendship. Squeeze hard, but not too hard.

Take a breath. Once you are in the hug, pause for a moment and breathe. Just one breath. This is where you have the chance to squeeze a little longer. Go ahead and be a little vulnerable. In the moment, remember who you are hugging and why you are hugging them. This is a moment of where the healing power of the hug truly shines through. We all want to be loved, and a hug or squeeze is a true sign of affection and trust.

Let it Go. Be willing to be the first to let go, be sensitive to the movements of the person you are hugging, and let go. Leave the embrace with a smile on your face, even in the hardest moments of life, moments when a hug means more as a sign of connection. Always let the person you are letting go of know you are happy.

Check out this National Hug Day video from TreeTop

This is not a sponsored post.

Tips courtesy of TreeTop

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