“The human touch is that little snippet of physical affection that brings a bit of comfort, support, and kindness. It doesn’t take much from the one who gives it, but can make a huge difference in the one who receives it.”
― Mya Robarts
Expressions of love can undoubtedly make your heart beat faster when it comes to romance, but did you know that human touch also plays a vital role when it comes to good health?
Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh researchers found that people who were given hugs were more capable to handle conflict and stress later.
Other findings made public by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggest that holding a person’s hand can ease them of their pain thanks to shared empathy.
The human body also releases oxytocin, a hormone produced in the brain also known as the “cuddle chemical,” during physical affection. The hormone plays a key role when it comes to empathy and trust, and it also helps us better deal with anxiety and stress. These are factors that can have severely damaging effects on us if not handled properly.
Undoubtedly, the potential health benefits are undeniable, and we should not neglect this truth.
According to researchers, having a healthy flow of interpersonal touch in your life may aid you in:
- Lowering cortisol levels: Physical affection may bring down your levels of cortisol, a stress-induced hormone that can help you in a fight-or-flight situation by raising your blood pressure and fortifying your energy supplies.
- Lowering blood pressure: Stress reduction is a key benefit of interpersonal touch and may help keep your blood pressure in balance.
- Remaining calm under stress: A simple hug can do wonders in helping you feel less stressed. Participants in the Carnegie Mellon study who were hugged numerous times over the period of two weeks reported handling interpersonal conflict and stress much better.
- Stress dampening: Researchers from Sweden found that caregivers who calmed crying children with “haptic” soothing techniques such as hugging, caressing, and patting were able to gain their trust with more ease and soothe them to stop their crying.
Needless to say, you don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day to reap the benefits of human touch.
Going for a professional massage from time to time can also be a great way to receive a strong dose of much-needed stress reduction.
To learn more about the importance of human touch, please see the video below.
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