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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

                Blogger, Writer

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                Last Updated on July 18, 2019

                What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

                What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

                Some people just seem to float through life with a relentless sense of happiness – through the toughest of times, they’re unfazed and aloof, stopping to smell the roses and drinking out of a glass half full.

                They may not have much to be happy about, but the simplicity behind that fact itself may make them happy.

                It’s all a matter of perspective, conscious effort and self-awareness. Listed below are a number of reasons why some people are always happy.

                1. They Manage Their Expectations

                They’re not crushed when they don’t get what they want – or misled into expecting to get the most out of every situation. They approach every situation pragmatically, hoping for the best but being prepared for the worst.

                2. They Don’t Set Unrealistic Standards

                Similar to the last point, they don’t live their lives in a constant pursuit towards impossible visions of perfection, only to always find themselves falling short of what they want.

                3. They Don’t Take Anything for Granted

                Happiness rests with feeling fulfilled – those who fail to stop and appreciate what they have every now and again will never experience true fulfillment.

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                4. They’re Not Materialistic

                There are arguing viewpoints on whether or not money can really buy happiness; if it can, then we know from experience that we can never be satisfied because there will always be something newer or better that we want. Who has ever had enough money?

                5. They Don’t Dwell

                They don’t sweat the small things or waste time worrying about things that don’t really matter at the end of the day. They don’t let negative thoughts latch onto them and drain them or distract them. Life’s too short to worry.

                6. They Care About Themselves First

                They’re independent, care for themselves and understand that they must put their needs first in order to accommodate the needs of others.

                They indulge, aim to get what they want, make time for themselves and are extremely self-reliant.

                7. They Enjoy the Little Things

                They stop to smell the roses. They’re accustomed to find serenity when it’s available, to welcome entertainment or a stimulating discussion with a stranger when it crosses their path. They don’t overlook the small things in life that can be just as important.

                8. They Can Adapt

                They’re not afraid of change and they work to make the most out of new circumstances, good or bad. They thrive under pressure, are not overwhelmed easily and always embrace a change of pace.

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                9. They Experiment

                They try new things, experience new flavors and never shy away from something they have yet to experience. They never order twice from the same menu.

                10. They Take Their Time

                They don’t unnecessarily rush through life. They work on their own schedule to the extent that they can and maneuver through life at their own relaxing pace.

                11. They Employ Different Perspectives

                They’re not stuck in one perspective; a loss can result in a new opportunity, hitting rock bottom can mean that there’s no where to go but up.

                12. They Seek to Learn

                Their constant pursuit of knowledge keeps them inspired and interested in life. They cherish information and are on a life-long quest to learn as much as they can.

                13. They Always Have a Plan

                They don’t find themselves drifting without purpose. When something doesn’t go as planned, they have a plan for every letter in the alphabet to fall back on.

                14. They Give Respect to Get It

                They are respectful and, in turn, are seen as respectable; the respect they exude earns them the respect they deserve.

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                15. They Consider Every Opportunity

                They always have their eyes open for a new road, a new avenue worth exploring. They know how to recognize opportune moments and pounce on them to make the most of every situation. Success is inevitable for them.

                16. They Always Seek to Improve

                Perpetual self-improvement is the key towards their ongoing thirst for success. Whatever it is they do, they take pride in getting better and better, from social interactions to mundane tasks. Their pursuit at being the best eventually materializes.

                17. They Don’t Take Life Too Seriously

                They’re not ones to get offended easily over-analyze or complicate matters. They laugh at their own faults and misfortunes.

                18. They Live in the Moment

                They don’t live for tomorrow or dwell on what may have happened yesterday. Every day is a new opportunity, a new chapter. They live in the now, and in doing so, get the most out of every moment.

                You can learn how to do so too: How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future

                19. They Say Yes

                Much more often than they say no. They don’t have to be badgered to go out, don’t shy away from new opportunities or anything that may seem inconvenient.

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                20. They’re Self-Aware

                Most important, they’re wholly aware of themselves. They self-reflect and are conscious of their states of mind. If somethings bothering them, they fix it.

                We’re all susceptible to feeling down every now and again, but we are all equipped with the necessary solutions that just have to be discovered.

                Lack of confidence, inability to feel fulfilled, and susceptibility to stress are all matters that can be controlled through the way we handle our lives and perceive our circumstances.

                Learn about How Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life.

                Final Thoughts

                The main philosophy employed by the happiest includes the idea that life’s simply too short: life’s too short to let things get you down, to take things for granted, to pursue absolute and unrealistic perfection.

                For some, employing these characteristics is a second nature – they do it without knowing. For others, a conscious effort must be put forth every now and again. Self-Awareness is key.

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                Featured photo credit: Charles Postiaux via unsplash.com

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