3 Powerful Reasons Why Touch Can Change Your Life

Woman with a cat on her shoulder.

Credit:  Martina Pazienza/Pixabay

According to the Hashtag Holidays Calendar today is #CuddleUpDay” (and they don’t mean with your smart phone or Netflix account!

Whether it’s a significant other, family member, or a beloved pet, physical contact connects us to those we care about in an intimate way.

I have fond memories as a child of my grandma stroking my back to help me fall asleep. Or, later as a parent, answering my young daughter’s request to “pet her cheeks” when I held her in the rocking chair. We all benefit by and appreciate the affectionate touch of a loved one.

There’s also “bad touching” or the complete absence of touch, both of which have especially negative and lasting consequences. People who suffered physical/sexual abuse or were neglected as children face many problems as a result.

Either way, research has proven that the power of touch is unmistakable and dramatically impacts our quality of life:

#1 – Promotes Physical & Emotional Health

  • Lowers heart rate & blood pressure
  • Boosts immune system
  • Activates the vagus nerve in the brain which is involved with the compassion response, which impacts personal & societal relationships
  • Triggers oxytocin – (aka the “feel good hormone”) which inspires positive thinking and optimism
  • Triggers endorphins – the body’s natural painkillers
  • Triggers serotonin – regulates mood & prevents depression
  • People become healthier over time 

#2 – Provides Intimacy

  • Touching is a non-verbal communication that signals cooperation 
  • This intimacy applies to personal AND professional relationships (i.e. hugs, handshakes, high-fives)
  • Strengthens team dynamics – Research of the NBA showed that teams whose players touch each other more often won more games

#3 – Prevents Violence

  • Science has proven that touching & cuddling in early life leads to more emotional stability
  • Children who are neglected and without maternal bonding tend to be more violent
  • Children who receive physical contact in a loving, caring manner have less violent tendencies

Non-verbal communication is the way we transmit information without speech. Our posture, facial expressions, stance, gestures, etc. display our emotions without us ever saying a word. 

eye roll

Credit: giphy.com

Even when we try to hide them there are subtle clues that reveal our true feelings. (Remember that the next time you tell a lie or try to disguise your anger!)

So, take advantage of all the ways to show your love and affection to the people who matter most. And taking time to cuddle up with them is a great way to celebrate the relationship, as well as the holiday!  🙂



Know Why “Rememberlutions” Are Better Than Resolutions?

Rememberlutions jar

Photo credit: Buzzfeed/Lauren Zaser

I’m reposting this with a few updates. It’s a practical & crafty alternative to a journal! 

What is it about resolutions that make us uncomfortable?

Is it because resolutions speak to the things that we don’t like about ourselves? Maybe our ideal weight has gotten farther out of reach or one pack of cigarettes isn’t getting us through the day. Maybe we’re nearing the five-year anniversary at a low-paying job that was supposed to be temporary while we searched for something better. Whatever the case might be it usually involves change. And change is never easy.

Maybe it’s because we’ve attempted resolutions in the past, only to fail after a few  weeks or months. The “let’s make a fresh start” enthusiasm of the New Year, enhanced by the herd mentality and lots of confetti, quickly grows stale when the party ends and we struggle at home alone.

“Remeberlutions” are a positive alternative to resolutions. It’s good to set goals, but the focus is on the small accomplishments that lead to a larger objective, as they happen. When a target is reached or something special occurs, we write it down and deposit the paper in a jar. At the end of the year, we read and celebrate all the wonderful things that happened.

Decorating the jar is a fun way to add inspiration to the project. I found this idea in an older Buzzfeed article from 2014. For ideas on how to decorate your jar from the original article click here.

We should always strive to improve our lives whenever we can. The end of the old year is a good time to assess what work needs to be done. The beginning of a new year is a good time to start that work and a Rememberlutions jar is a fun way to record the journey!

Whatever your objectives are for 2019 I wish you the best of luck & don’t forget to give yourself credit for all your accomplishments, both great & small!