"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." - Leo Buscaglia
Do you ever feel like you’re living in a bubble, surrounded by people but never touched? We live in such a busy, crowded world, yet it’s so easy for many of us to go days, even weeks or months without touching or being touched by others.
While you might not notice the effects of not being touched right away, it can negatively affect your mood and health. We are only beginning to understand the holistic way our bodies work and the relationship between our emotional well being and our physical health. Here are 6 reasons why you need to be touched on a regular basis. 1. Feel connected to others. We are social beings, and although we all fall in different places on the introversion – extroversion scale, we all need to have that sense of connection to other members of our tribe. While some of that connection can come from having conversations with others, touch also plays an important role in human communication. 2. Reduce anxiety. Simply touching another person can make us feel more secure and less anxious. It can make us feel grounded and safe and not so all alone. It’s not just children who could use a warm, reassuring hug to make things a little better, so if you’re feeling like a bundle of nerves, go ahead and ask for a hug. 3. Bonding. Touch is one of the ways romantic partners bond with each other and parents bond with their children. When partners and families get busy and let touch go out the window, they’ll often find that they don’t feel as close and relationships suffer. Regular touch is one of the ways that we continually renew our bonds with those we love. 4. Lowers your blood pressure. Studies have shown that those that get regular touch often have lower blood pressure than those that don’t. Even having a pet can have beneficial effects! Touch can also slow the heart rate and help speed recovery times from illness and surgery. 5. Improve your outlook. It’s harder to get into a pessimistic funk when you feel connected to others. Touch can make people feel more optimistic and positive and less cynical and suspicious. A positive, trusting attitude towards others can reduce tension in our daily lives and improve our relationships. 6. Give us the sensory input that we crave. Scientists are just discovering how truly important it is to exercise all our physical senses for proper brain and emotional development. All the various kinds of touch from butterfly kisses to deep tissue massage send our brains the physical inputs it needs to make sense of the world. So, along with touching other people and pets, make time to explore different textures and touch sensations such as letting cool sand run through your fingers or taking a warm relaxing bath.
Don’t let yourself get too busy that you starve yourself of touch. It’s important for your physical, mental and emotional well being to touch others and let others touch you.