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5 Ways Physical Touch Helps Your Relationship

5 Ways Physical Touch Helps Your Relationship

Life can become a lonely thing without the physical touch that makes us feel connected to other people. A lack of touch in relationships could make a person feel unwanted, especially if touch is how your partner expresses their love for others. A little hug goes a long way. Here are 5 ways physical touch helps your relationship.

1. Touch can calm your nerves.

Feeling stressed out and exhausted after a hard day of work? A simple hug could be the answer to your ails. A warm embrace with a person you love can help you find a reason to smile when there is a dark cloud overhead. Hugs release the hormone oxytocin which in turn lowers your heart rate and cortisol levels. Cortisol causes things like fat gain, heart disease, and high blood pressure, so physical touch isn’t just calming, but also healthy.

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2. Hugs can make angry people comfortable.

Fights are par for the course in relationships but when they become too frequent, expressions of love can make all the difference. Being constantly mad at a partner isn’t my idea of fun. The next time you find yourself in a fight that escalates to the point that you feel uncomfortable, offer a hug or hold your partner’s hand. While this won’t magically solve your problems, it will make it more likely that cool heads will prevail.

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3. A quick touch can keep you connected on the go.

It doesn’t require a huge amount of touching to create positive connection that will make you feel happy and fulfilled in your relationship. If you’re running out the door to work, give your partner a quick hug and kiss before you go. This will offer a spark of comfort and happiness that will help you get through your day. A light brush of your knees under the table will help you feel connected while you’re out for dinner with friends. You could go see a scary movie or walk at the park for a perfect excuse to hold hands.

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4. Holding your partner can offer comfort in crisis.

A few years ago, a grandmother I loved dearly passed away and I was so upset that I didn’t know what to do. The activity-of-the-day was crying without pause. My girlfriend at the time was worried about me, so I met her at a local park. Without saying a word, she wrapped her arms around me and the flood-gates opened. I cannot express in words how much better this simple embrace made me feel. When it feels like your world has turned upside down, few things offer more comfort than a big hug from the person you love. If your partner comes to you with a crisis, don’t assume you need to say anything: simply open your arms, let them in, and hold them tightly.

5. Flirty gestures can revive your sex life.

Who says you have to be in the bedroom for intimacy? You could give your partner a playful swat on the bottom while they finish dishes or pull them in for a passionate kiss while the kids are distracted by a video game to give your sex life a healthy boost. While snuggled up to a movie in the dark, you could give your partner a quick neck rub or place your hand on their knee for a flirty gesture that will help them feel wanted and desired. Sprinkle little flirty touches into your relationship to build anticipation for the real fireworks in the bedroom (because everything is better when you have to wait for it!). 

Is physical touch important to you in relationships? If so, how do you stay physically connected with your partner? 

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Daniel Wallen

Freelance Writer

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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