"Hug Me" on a diagram of a heart hugging itself

It’s a Very Good Idea to Suspend Gaming for Frequent Hugging!

Intertops Casino offers gamers a full line of great online games.  We offer games of chance like slots and roulette and games of skill like blackjack and video poker.  In addition to happily offering great gaming, we also from time to time like to speak directly to our gamers’ well-being.

The subject that gets discussed most often at online casino blogs is responsible gaming.  This includes setting financial and time limits on your gaming, never playing when you are also drinking alcohol, and never letting gaming become the be all and end all of your personal activities.

Life is with People

We need social interaction as well!  You can set up a gaming party for some social interaction but the most common form of social interaction is simply spending time with other people.

Here is where this blog article comes in.  We noticed that in the United States, January 21st is National Hug Day.  Even if you don’t live in the United States, it is good to celebrate Hug Day and to hug people often.  This article will discuss the importance of hugging in social and familial situations.

Hugs between Consenting Adults

A hug can have but doesn’t have to have a sexual aspect.  In fact, many people hug who never think about the hug and the person they are hugging in a sexual way.  The recent holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas are perfect cases in point.

Many families come together to celebrate the holidays together and there are often cantankerous discussions, even arguments, on political and social issues.  It is a major positive point when two people who had fought verbally over important issues can hug as they say goodbye to each other.  The hug telegraphs an important message: you and I disagree on the political side of things but not on the family side of things.

Hugging in the Office

A hug may be unwelcome if it comes from a colleague.  The office atmosphere may be very nurturing but hugging when it is not welcome can break down any good vibes your office culture strives to create.

So, a hug is very welcome under the right circumstances and may be very unwelcome in the wrong circumstances.

Science Supports Hugging Often

There may be scientific evidence that hugging people is very good for both people involved.  Here are a few of the discoveries researchers claim to have made in the course of studying hugging.

  • Hugging may strengthen our immune system.  Researchers at Carnegie-Mellon University studied the short-term effects of hugging on the health of 400 people and they found that the people who gave and received the most hugs were the least likely to catch a cold.

  • Hugging may reduce stress.  This seems to be a quite obvious result of hugging.  The hug is just physical enough to put the people in a better frame of mind.  In some cases, a hug is a way of saying “I forgive you”.

  • Hugging may be able to reduce blood pressure.  This means that instead of taking drugs for mildly elevated blood pressure, we might embark on a protocol of frequent hugging.

  • Hugging reduces fear.  The first thing we do when a child is frightened by a fall or thunder is to go over and hug them.  We may not be able to stop their crying for some time but the child still wants us to continue the hug for a long time.  Hugging may be able to reduce other fears especially the fear of failure that is so devastating to adults.

  • Hugging is a fail-safe activity.  Many people find that small kids don’t want to be hugged all the time.  These kids do, however, want a hug, especially from a parent or grandparent at the appropriate time.  As a fail-safe activity, hugging for little kids is somewhat obvious but it may serve the same purpose for adults as well.

  • Kids like to hug each other.  On any playground, you can see kids hugging each other.  Researchers seem to feel that this activity comes about between two kids who know each other well such as siblings, classmates, or family friends.  The interesting element in children hugging each otter is that the kids seem to learn the benefits of hugging at a very young age.  Some researchers say that hugging is an inchoate action all humans and some animals make.

  • Making nice is a form of hugging.  Tiny tots are too small to hug easily.  Adults find that when they gently “make nice” to a very little kid, the kid pays close attention.  They love the contact and the touch even though they don’t yet have developed the cognitive skill to be able to definitively identify what is happening on their cheeks.

  • Many people don’t especially like hugging.  This is also a learned response and modern culture is going a long way to reducing the fear of hugging among English-speaking people.  Sports are an activity that is emphasizing the importance of hugging.  In hockey, players never used to hug each other after a goal was scored.  In the modern professional hockey culture it seems like the entire team jumps in to hug a goal scorer!

  • Friends.  Here we mean the enormously popular television series that featured six close friends in New York City circa the 1980’s.  The characters “hugged it out” at the drop of a hat! 

  • Hugging increases some chemicals in our brains.  The three most common chemicals that are increased when people hug a lot are serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin.  To state their value in a super non-scientific way, these three chemicals make us feel better and put us in a better mood.

 Synonyms for Hugging

A quick Google search for common synonyms for hugging revealed five common synonyms:

  • Embrace
  • Cuddle
  • Squeeze
  • Clutch
  • Cling to

These are okay as far as they go but they point out the vital difference between connotation and denotation.  Connotation is the feeling a word or term gives and denotation is, roughly, the dictionary definition.  So, as denotations the five synonyms here are very close to hug.  However, as connotations they are far different.

Everyone knows what a hug is.  Everyone knows that a hug is not a cuddle, it is not a squeeze (for sure; see above for unwanted hugs), it is certainly not a clutch, and only little kids use cling to mom as a substitute for a timely hug!

A hug may be a short embrace and an embrace may be a long hug.  We will leave it to the social philosophers to ferret out the true distinction between a hug and an embrace.

Great Gaming

To invent a metaphor, we invite everyone to let the 300+ games at Intertops Casino Red “hug” you during the cold winter months, on National Hug Day, and all year as well!

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