If everyone hugged 4 people today—the minimum requirement for "survival"—that would add up to 1.2 billion hugs. If everyone gave 12 hugs—the number required for "growth"—the total would be 3.6 billion. So take the time to give 12 hugs today. That hug might be exactly what those 12 people needed.


  1. Hug the people you care about today. Hug them in the morning, hug them to say hello, hug them because they bring you happiness, hug them to say good-bye, hug them to say "I love you," hug them to show compassion, hug them if they are sad, hug them if they are hurting, hug them because they did something incredible, or hug them just because.
  2. Hug a total stranger or someone you don't know all that well...but ask first.
  3. Challenge yourself and your friends to keep track of how many hugs you gave or received today.
  4. Notice how you feel at the end of your day of hugging.


  • Stimulation by touch is absolutely necessary for physical and emotional well-being.
  • Touch is used to relieve pain, depression, and anxiety; to enhance a child's development and IQ; and to nurture premature babies.
  • Hugging strengthens the immune system, reduces stress, assists sleep, lowers blood pressure, and is an antidote to depression.
  • Hugging bolsters a patient's will to live, dispels loneliness, eases fear, opens doors to buried feelings, builds self-esteem, fosters altruism, and imparts feelings of belonging.
  • Hugging offers a wholesome alternative to promiscuity, alcohol, and drugs.
  • People need 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 for maintenance, and 12 for growth.


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