Hero Training 103: Let’s Embrace Hugging Day

by | Jan 21, 2019 | Wellbeing | 0 comments

self care - hug therapyWe’ve been back in the city for close on a year now and hanging out with Brian Johnson remains one of our favourite pastimes.

Drinking organic wine is a close second.

Philosopher extraordinaire and the mastermind behind Optimize —an online portal that delivers more wisdom in less time— Brian is inspiration on steroids.

If you’re as lazy as I am, you’ll love Brian’s minimalist approach to getting better at life.

Hero Training 103

In his Hero Training 101 seminar —which is based on Joseph Campbell’s well known book The Hero’s Journey and features the fascinating documentary Finding Joe— Brian emphasizes the importance of getting really comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Our five-part Hero Training 101 series chronicles the seven months we spent untethered. Hero Training 102 focused on continuing our learning now that we’re settled again.

Hero Training 103 is all about self-care. Last year brought up a lot of health issues for us, so I figured it was something worth exploring more fully.

Self-care is all-encompassing. It includes everything from fitness, health and nutrition to our spiritual, mental and emotional wellbeing. It’s morning coffee and wine at five. It’s snuggling and movies and peanut butter toast.

Ed: This is the first post in our Hero Training103 series. These are the others:

Let’s Embrace Hugging Day

Today is Hugging Day. Sporty, who has always been completely comfortable in her own skin, is excited. She wants to make us ‘free hugs here’ placards and stand at the entrance to our local mall.

The horror. I’m currently breaking out in hives.

My personal space bubble is roughly a meter in diameter. And that’s on a good day. I’m open to the idea of hugging, but it all depends on who’s on the other end and what mood I’m in.

In short, I’m very much not comfortable in my own skin.

I’m not sure why that is, but I do need to make an effort to rectify matters. The last thing I want to is become that weird old cat lady who never leaves the house.

The horror. I’m currently breaking out in hives.

Free Hugs Campaign

There’s actually a Free Hugs Campaign. That doesn’t surprise me. I’m not a complete Grinch, I get that divvying out free hugs is cool. But, like I said, uncomfortable in my own skin.

The campaign is the brainchild of Juan Mann, a man whose sole mission was to reach out and hug a stranger to brighten up their lives. Just watching the video brightened up my day.

I tried to join the Free Hugs Movement, but received a forbidden error for my efforts. Ironic much? If you have better luck let me know. In the meantime, I’m sure Sporty will rally the local troops in support of the admittedly cool idea.

The Health Benefits of Hugging

Hugging isn’t just a touchy-feely nice thing to do. Being wrapped in a bear hug comes with a number of health benefits

It stimulates oxytocin, treats age-induced loneliness, reduces the fear of death and encourages a healthier immune system. Who knew you could get all that from a little hug therapy?

Well hugged babies grow up into less stressed adults. And hugging trees, it turns out, is also good for you.

But then, Sporty already knew that.

Not All Hugs Are Equal

There are lots of different kinds of hugs and they all convey their own message. To get the most out of the experience you need to hug like you mean it. 

We’ve all endured those ‘so fast they almost didn’t happen’ hugs or worse, the ‘pat on the back’ hug, which to my mind is sending a clear message.

Don’t stay here too long!

It boils down to common sense I suppose. Don’t overstay your welcome, but don’t shy away from hugging, either. If you’re unsure, you could practice your hugging on trees and dogs.

Day Find Yourself a Hug Therapist (Hint: They’re Everywhere)

Sporty and I have sought counselling a few times over the years. Mostly with good results. I say mostly, because, like anything, you need to find the right person and the right kind of therapy.

I’m pretty open to all kinds of healing modalities, but I’ll be honest, the idea of hiring a professional cuddler has me cocking an eyebrow. I mean, really, paying someone to hug me?

Apparently cuddling for cash is a legitimate way to earn money. It probably is. I’m just not sure it’s something I’d go for. Then again, that’s easy for me to say, because I have Sporty.

Still, with seven million humans traversing the planet right now, the world is literally awash with potential hug therapists. Most of whom would be happy to embrace you for free.

Before you rush out and start hugging everyone, take a moment to consider who you’re with. Cultural greetings vary greatly depending on where in the world you find yourself.

Also, you might be dealing with someone like me. Just saying.

On the other hand, perhaps all people like me need to feel comfortable in their own skin is a hug. Or two. 

Who knows? 

This post probably contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase via one of those links, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read more here.

Watch Ang’s TEDx talk!

Who are Ang & Sporty?


As an Amazon Associate, we earn commission from qualifying purchases. See our disclosure policy.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.