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January 13, 2020 2 min read

A company’s culture is a representation its values and beliefs. Sometimes this happens on purpose.  Like at ANTIDOTE, one of our core values is sustainable sourcing. Other times, a part of the culture just happens. For example, if you work with us at ANTIDOTE, chances are you will get a hug - with your permission, of course! We didn’t plan for this, it just evolved. 

For us, a “hugging” culture means treating everyone with dignity and respect, like being an early part of the Open to All campaign, a preference for face to face interaction, and our give back programs.

With National Hug Day coming up on January 21st, we got to thinking about all of the benefits of human touch - hugs, handshakes, fist-bumps, smiles and high-fives. “Research shows that long hugs release oxytocin, benefiting the human stress response, immune function, sleep patterns, blood pressure, and self-esteem,” says The Hug Alliance founder, Rick Morrison.

According to Healthline’s What Are the Benefits of Hugging?, “the benefits of hugging go beyond that warm feeling you get when you hold someone in your arms.” Healthline summarizes hugging’s scientific benefits such as:

  1. Hugs make you happier. “Oxytocin is a chemical in our bodies that scientists sometimes call the ‘cuddle hormone. This is because its levels rise when we hug, touch, or sit close to someone else. Oxytocin is associated with happiness and less stress.”
  2. Hugs boost your heart health by reducing blood pressure and heart rate
  3. Hugs reduce stress in both the person getting and the person giving the hug
  4. Hugs protect you against illness by strengthening your immune system and resilience – people who feel supported get less sick and when they do get sick, it is less severe

With all of those benefits, imagine what a good hug can do for your hair!

Do we have a touch deficit in our society?  Forbes magazine’s “Magic Touch: Six Things You Can Do to Connect in a Disconnected World,” Carolyn Rosenblatt challenges us, “Research has told us for years that humans all need touch to one degree or another. Are we giving it enough, receiving enough touch ourselves?  Are we connecting in our disconnected world?”

Rosenblatt goes on to share that according to family therapist Virginia Satir, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”

We encourage you to making hugging part of your own culture, too.

Happy Hug Day!

Abigail + David

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