Hugs. Not just an awkward nice to meet you goodbye hug after a weird first date, but a real… no end in sight, squeezing the negativity out of your bones and filling it with life, bear hug. There comes a time in all of our lives where we hit a point that feels like there's just no return. Like our faith has been depleted completely and we're lost in a split second. Sometimes that moment is a loss of a loved one, or a million small things all compiled together, and then sometimes that moment comes in the form of a mass attack while you are surrounded by only strangers and ultimate confusion. It's in this moment you find the one thing you have in common with these other humans is the one thing that matters… compassion. That compassion in many ways comes in the form of this one life infusing, negative depleting bear hug… and for that moment you know that hug will carry you through long enough to find the answers you seek.
#therighttobearhugs is a movement to infuse this compassion back into our world 2 people at a time. It's time for us as neighbors, as human beings, and citizens of this world to stop hiding behind judgement, ridicule, and hate, and instead open up our vulnerabilities to each other of unity, love, and most importantly …… compassion.
With that being said, much like the ice bucket challenge that stood to bring awareness to ALS, the hugs challenge stands to bring awareness to mental health and compassion for others in this world.
Right about now, you are probably sitting there wondering why and how giving someone a hug,as small as it seems, can help mental health or bring compassion back to this world……… well, we are glad you asked. Allow us to explain both…
Hugging has been proven to help people deal with their emotions more effectively and with more understanding of their feelings. With 1 simple hug, the persons body will instantly do many things… it will release oxytocin to relieve stress and anxiety, stimulate and heighten the dopamine levels in the brain easing any feelings of depression or low self esteem and also giving a feeling of being more energetic after the hug. Aside from the numerous reports and articles that scream "GO OUT AND HUG SOMEONE" a hug is also a personal way to let another human being know that you see them, that they matter in your world (whatever way that may be) It is the ability to change someone's whole response system in a matter of 10 seconds and allow them to walk away feeling important, or at the very least…… acknowledged. Mental health issues have been on the rise for decades with still very little understanding of how, what, and why. We all to quickly forget to think about the most important ……… who. The fact is that those suffering from any sort of mental health crisis feel alone, they feel unimportant and invisible to the rest of the world. A genuine hug can change the course of their whole day, and for some, it will change their whole life.
The point is, we don't know what a hug may mean to the one we are giving it to and we don't need to. We only need to be willing to give our compassion to someone else and let them define that act for themselves.
Here is our challenge:
We ask you to hug 3 people, friend or family or complete stranger and capture that moment in a photo. Share that photo on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with the hashtag #therighttobearhugs and even leave a sentiment with it on how it made you feel. When posting your hug with the hashtags also tag up to 10 people to then challenge them to do the same. When you add the hashtag above to your post it will add the photo to this site so you can then watch as your hug and others around the world come together for a single cause.
Our goal is to have 10 million documented hugs from those being challenged and using the hashtag in their post. At that time we will have a bigger and brighter goal waiting to be started so stay tuned and come with us on this journey of love, acceptance, and compassion.