Hug someone today – anyone! (Hint: It’s good for business)

I really enjoy a good hug. To be truly satisfying it’s got to be a “nestle in, breathe deeply and give a gentle squeeze” type hug. One of those perfunctory “in and out, slap the back” type hugs just doesn’t cut it for me. 

I’ve found that most people enjoy my hugs and I enjoy giving them. It’s easy when I’m hugging my wife or my dog – I keep going till they squirm out of it! However, how long is the “right” length hug for friends, children and acquaintances?

The average length of a hug between two people is approximately 3 seconds. That’s OK – and certainly better than no hug at all - however hardly in the “When will this stop and how do I get away?!?” category. 

But here’s the thing…if you can manage to extend a sincere hug for 20 seconds it has an amazing therapeutic effect on the body and mind due to the release of the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin has many benefits in our physical and mental health. Amongst other effects, it is calming and
helps you to relax and feel safe.

Perhaps you remember seeing a video in 2006 of a man who gave away free hugs? I especially remember it because he did it in the Pitt Street Mall in Sydney and it created great controversy. It was called the Free Hugs Campaign and at first it was actually banned by officials until popular protest changed that. 

The person behind it all was Juan Mann and his sole mission was to reach out and hug a stranger to put a smile on their face. What we witnessed was the true spirit of humanity as people came together in what can only be described as something awe inspiring and the effects of the Free Hugs Campaign are now felt around the globe. The video has had over 75 ½ million views! (See it and read more about it at
In this age of social-disconnection most all of us lack that simple human touch from another. During some stimulating conversation at a recent Womens Network Australia lunch the topic of networking came up. What was agreed all round is that the all too common practice of collecting as many business cards as possible was a waste of time. What is important are genuine connections & relationships.

And what better way to cement a relationship than with a hug?