Haven’t you ever wondered why you just feel a rush of positive vibes whenever you get a hug from someone you care about? How about when you’re feeling scared, anxious, or nervous about something? Don’t you just feel an automatic sense of calm and relief whenever you have someone hold your hand through the toughest times of your lie?
Well, it turns out that the physical touch can do so much more than just make you “feel good” about yourself. There are some very surprising benefits that come with the physical touch of a human being. And if you’re interested in knowing more about the human touch can help boost your health and help increase your quality of life, then you should definitely read on.
One of the most basic human instincts that we all have is to establish physical contact with the people who are nearest and dearest to us. It’s evident even for newborn babies. Whenever they suckle and cry, there is always a sense of relief whenever they are able to cling to their mothers and natural nurturers. There is a certain emotional bond that is formed between a newborn and her mother – and that bond is more than just a physical one.
It’s something that transcends physicality. It’s emotional. It’s mental. It’s physiological. Even as kids are growing older, the need for physical engagement with their surroundings and the people they are with is integral to their growth and development as human beings.
In fact, there are numerous studies that confirm that students are more likely to excel in their academics when they receive physical forms of encouragement and validation from authority figures such as parents or teachers. Even something as simple as a pat on the back can really do wonders for a child’s motivation, confidence, and zeal for learning.
And it’s not just human beings who have an innate need for the physical touch either. Even primates like chimps will pick at each other’s fur throughout the entire duration of a day. Leading researchers have even suggested that the gelada baboon uses around 17 percent of its total waking hours on grooming alone. Scientists have found that one of the main reasons why these primates like to touch each other is because the physical touch is somehow able to ease tensions within different social contexts.
There is a certain hormone that is called Oxytocin and it happens to be triggered whenever there is a physical form of engagement that is taking place. Oxytocin is a chemical that is responsible for allowing humans to feel a sense of connectedness and camaraderie with one another. It is a feel-good hormone that allows us to feel comfortable with another human being. It is also responsible for triggering feelings of fulfillment and happiness within a person. Regardless of how old we might be, we are always able to reap the benefits of Oxytocin – and we are all capable of triggering its release in the body through the form of a physical touch as well.
But you also have to know that the physical touch actually brings with it a lot of benefits that are able to transcend emotional bonding between two people. It turns out that physical touches can trigger certain biological releases that can significantly impact your overall mental and physical health. Here are 3 specific and surprising ways in which the physical touch can actually help make you live longer and happier.
1. It can induce positive thinking and trust.
Oxytocin is a real “feel good” hormone that gets triggered whenever you are locked in an embrace with someone. What this hormone does is that it helps improve your mood. And when that happens, you just tend to have a more optimistic outlook on life. Also, it makes you feel more comfortable and more trusting of the person you are being physically affectionate with.
2. It helps to reduce anxiety and stress.
The physical touch is also known to increase the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the body. These are two neurotransmitters that help put you into a better mood. They are known to help relieve anxiety and stress; thereby making you less vulnerable to heart diseases and mental health problems.
3. It boosts the immune system and lowers blood pressure.
Physical touch is known to help the function of your immune system as well as decrease the risk of diseases. Researchers have even found that people who received more hugs from their partners led to lower heart rates and blood pressure.
4. How To Benefit From The Physical Touch
You don’t always have to be getting your dose of hugs, kisses, and cuddles from a romantic partner. You can reap all the benefits of a heart-to-heart embrace from a parent, a sibling, a pet, an intimate friend, or even a complete stranger. Hugs are able to invoke the release of oxytocin in the body and we’ve already covered as to why that’s a good thing for you.
So, you should never be shy about being physically affectionate in life – most especially to the people who mean the most to you. You should always be aware of just how significant these hugs and kisses might be to establish a sense of comfort, peace, and tranquility within a social situation.