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Study Discovers 7 Surprising Benefits of Holding Hands

Study Discovers 7 Surprising Benefits of Holding Hands

Holding hands is an ordinary thing that we see and do every day. It can signify friendship, love, or marriage. Yet this tiny, commonplace behavior triggers chemical reactions in our minds that make us feel loved, happy, cared for, and respected.

These days, non-verbal communication is important to understanding human behavior. Holding hands is one of the fundamental ways we can positively impact our lives. When we hold hands, the nerves in our skin communicate with our core nervous system, producing hormones that make us feel pleasant and warm. There’s much more to it, of course, and new studies continue to explore the positive psychological effects of human touch today.

Here are seven benefits of holding hands which you may not have realized existed:

1. Holding hands is a great stress reliever

Holding hands with your significant other decreases the level of a stress hormone called cortisol. Even the touch of a friend or a teammate can make us feel more content, connected, or better about ourselves. When we are stressed out, a light touch on our hand can help ease the strain, both physically and mentally. Our skin also gets more sensitive when cortisol is rushing through our bloodstream, so the touch of a helping hand will have a significantly larger impact. The largest concentration of nerve endings is actually contained inside the hands and fingertips.

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So, next time you’re having a really tough day, get together with your partner or a friend and ease the stressful day with them.

holding hands relieves stress

    2. Holding hands boosts love & bonding

    Oxytocin is the hormone behind this benefit. Oxytocin strengthens empathy and communication between partners in a relationship, which is proven to be a contributing factor for long-lasting, happy relationships. Holding hands with your partner will improve your relationship and create a bond that will impact the quality of your relationship significantly.

    Couples who have happy relationships hold hands automatically, sometimes without even noticing, because of a habit developed by their nervous systems. Holding hands produces the oxytocin, which makes us feel happier and more loved.

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    bond and love

      3. Holding hands is great for your heart

      Besides relieving stress, holding hands with your partner lowers your blood pressure, which is one of the major contributors to heart disease. When we’re clasping fingers with our loved ones, we’re not just easing stress and improving our relationships – we are providing a comfortable sensation that helps our heart. The power of a warm touch goes beyond the health benefits to the heart; a study from Behavioral Medicine backs up this claim.

        4. Holding hands relieves pain

        While enduring pain, humans have the natural reflex to tighten their muscles. Think of childbirth – husbands are typically inside the delivery room holding their wife’s hand while she’s going through labor. The reflex to grasp our partner’s hand comes as second nature: It’s always easier to endure pain while holding hands with your soulmate.

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        helping hand

          5. Holding hands fights fear

          Remember that horrible scene in the last horror movie you saw that made you want to jump out of your chair? Luckily, your darling was with you to hold your hand and make you feel safe. The human brain responds to sudden stimulation using adrenaline; this stimulation gets our blood pumping and releases high levels of cortisol throughout our body.

          During these moments, our natural reaction is to hold hands with someone we trust. It varies from person to person, but a large portion of women will instantly grab their partner’s hand. That’s the intuitive way to fight off nerves.

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            6. Holding hands provides a sense of security

            Simple hand holding is a source of safety and comfort for young children. Remember when your parents taught you to how to cross the street or walked you down a crowded sidewalk? Or when you were learning to ride a bicycle? Insecurity disappears when we have a hand to hold and allows us to more easily conquer obstacles. The security that parents provide their children by holding hands shapes their children’s behavior and their way of thinking.

            Additionally, the sensation of safety goes both ways; parents also feel safer when their children are within their grasp.

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              7. Holding hands is just plain comfortable

              Everybody loves comfort. The sensation of holding hands often provides a comfy feeling while talking a walk with your loved one. A great example is holding hands inside a jacket pocket to warm them up on those cold December nights when you decide to take a stroll in the snow with your partner. Even with gloves, we love to hold hands. It bonds us; it provides lovely sensations and gives us quality time with people we care about.

                How often do you hold hands with your partner?

                Holding hands is a pain reliever, a source of security, and a cure for stress. Do you enjoy the comforting sensation of holding hands? Now you have seven reasons to do it more often.

                Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ccbarr/ via flickr.com

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                Dejan Kvrgic

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                Last Updated on September 17, 2019

                10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

                10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

                Positive thinking can lead to a lot of positive change in your life. Developing an optimistic outlook can be good for both your physical and mental health.

                But sometimes, certain situations arise in life that makes it hard to keep a positive outlook. Take steps to make positive thinking become more like your second nature and you’ll reap the biggest benefits.

                Here are 10 ways to make thinking positive thoughts easy:

                1. Spend Time with Positive People

                If you surround yourself with constant complainers, their negativity is likely to rub off on you.

                Spend time with positive friends and family members to increase the likelihood that their positive thinking habits will become yours too. It’s hard to be negative when everyone around you is so positive.

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                2. Take Responsibility for Your Behavior

                When you encounter problems and difficulties in life, don’t play the role of the victim. Acknowledge your role in the situation and take responsibility for your behavior.

                Accepting responsibility can help you learn from mistakes and prevent you from blaming others unfairly.

                3. Contribute to the Community

                One of the best ways to feel good about what you have, is to focus on what you have to give.

                Volunteer in some manner and give back to the community. Helping others can give you a new outlook on the world and can assist you with positive thinking.

                4. Read Positive and Inspirational Materials

                Spend time each day reading something that encourages positive thinking. Read the Bible, spiritual material, or inspirational quotes to help you focus on what’s important to you in life. It can be a great way to start and end your day.

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                Some recommendations for you:

                5. Recognize and Replace Negative Thoughts

                You won’t be successful at positive thinking if you’re still plagued by frequent negative thoughts. Learn to recognize and replace thoughts that are overly negative. Often, thoughts that include words like “always” and “never” signal that they aren’t true.

                If you find yourself thinking something such as, “I always mess everything up,” replace it with something more realistic such as, “Sometimes I make mistakes but I learn from them.”

                There’s no need to make your thoughts unrealistically positive, but instead, make them more realistic.

                6. Establish and Work Toward Goals

                It’s easier to be positive about problems and setbacks when you have goals that you’re working toward. Goals will give you motivation to overcome those obstacles when you encounter problems along the way. Without clear goals, it’s harder to make decisions and gauge your progress.

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                Learn to set SMART goals to help you achieve more.

                7. Consider the Consequences of Negativity

                Spend some time thinking about the consequences of negative thinking. Often, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

                For example, a person who thinks, “I probably won’t get this job interview,” may put less effort into the interview. As a result, he may decrease his chances of getting the job.

                Create a list of all the ways negative thinking impacts your life. It likely influences your behavior, your relationships, and your feelings. Then, create a list of the ways in which positive thinking could be beneficial.

                8. Offer Compliments to Others

                Look for reasons to compliment others. Be genuine in your praise and compliments, but offer it frequently. This will help you look for the good in other people.

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                9. Create a Daily Gratitude List

                If you start keeping a daily gratitude list, you’ll start noticing exactly how much you have to be thankful for. This can help you focus on the positive in your life instead of thinking about all the bad things that have happened in the day.

                Getting in the habit of showing an attitude of gratitude makes positive thinking more of a habit. Here’re 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

                10. Practice Self-Care

                Take good care of yourself and you’ll be more equipped to think positively.

                Get plenty of rest and exercise and practice managing your stress well. Taking care of your physical and mental health will provide you with more energy to focus on positive thinking.

                Learn about these 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

                More About Staying Positive

                Featured photo credit: DESIGNECOLOGIST via unsplash.com

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