Today is Global Hug Your Kid day! A special day to remind us all to show our kids that we love them. The day was started by Michelle Nichols, founded the day after her 8 1/2 year old son died of brain cancer.

Unlike other holidays that we can mark up as silly at times, I think this one is an exception. Showing affection isn't always easy. Some parents grew up in homes where hugging wasn't part of the plan. But according to science, hugging has benefits for both parents and their children.

Benefits of Hugging, according to Scientific American:

  • Children from deprived surroundings, such as orphanages, have different horone levels than children who were raised by parents. One study showed the stress hormone Cortisol was higher in children from orphanages.
  • Teens have less anxiety, feel less hostile, and perceive their parents as less aggressive.
  • In hospitals, parents of newborns in intensive care are encouraged to cuddle their babies because it has been proven to improve the vital signs of the child, and also lowers the stress levels of the parents.
  • Helps us build relationships, because the 'social bonding' hormones are released.
  • Hugging lowers blood pressure.
  • Significantly reduces stress related to mortality.
  • Decreases the feeling of loneliness instantly.

The Creator of this day says she learned the hard way. Our time with our loved ones is limited, so don't take them for granted. Hug your brothers, sisters, children, parents and friends while you can. You'll be glad that you had the chance.