How a little touch can make a big difference
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, some of us find ourselves preoccupied with the idea of love. We long for the connection and emotional highs that come with being in a loving relationship. As humans we are social creatures, with a hard-wired motivation that drives us to create and maintain relationships in our lives. The thought of a relationship, with the trust, respect, and physical closeness that comes with it is very pleasing. Physical contact is an essential part of healthy relationships. In many ways, touch has a calming and reassuring effect on us. Whether you’re in a committed relationship, a not-sure-what to call it situation, or even single this Valentine’s day- it can be a great time to physically express your love towards others using the power of touch.
If you are sexually active, you can appreciate how good having sex feels. Regular sexual intercourse not only feels good, but can also provide us with many health benefits. Sex relieves stress, boosts immunity, reduces pain, and helps you sleep better. Couples who have regular sexual intercourse report greater feelings of connection and intimacy in their relationships. Sexual intercourse, under certain circumstances, may also help increase self-esteem. Ensure you’re having safe sex with others to provide yourself with the above benefits without the added risk of contracting sexually transmitted disease. If you are currently in a relationship but choose to abstain from having sex, there are many other ways to create closeness by using touch, such as with cuddles, hugs and kisses.
Who doesn’t like snuggles? The comfort of being held in someone else’s arms can be extremely calming and pleasing. Cuddling has similar beneficial health effects on us as having sex does. Cuddling improves immunity, is a natural pain reliever, and also lessens fear and anxiety. You don’t have to cuddle or have sex with a romantic partner in order to reap some of these benefits, as any touch in general is good for us! You can totally cuddle your dog, cat, or best friend. Or if that’s weird for you, make it a habit of giving your friends a hug when you meet up for coffee. Even patting someone on the back or touching them on the arm when they tell a funny joke will bring greater connection and closeness to your relationships. Some researchers have even found that self-touch can give us similar health benefits as touch with others. Giving yourself a warm hug or massage can help calm you down and increase your mood. The thought of giving yourself a big hug or kiss on the arm may seem bizarre, but hey no one sees what you do by yourself any ways.
We can incorporate touch in our lives, where appropriate of course, to establish greater feelings of well-being and connection in our relationships. Hug your friends and family, kiss and caress your lover(s), and snuggle your pets often. Make an effort to express your love for those special people in your life not only this Valentine’s Day, but everyday. Touch is both extremely valuable to our health and makes us feel wonderful, so why shouldn’t we do more of it?