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6 Surprising Reasons You Need to Be Touched: Hug Somebody Today!

6 Surprising Reasons You Need to Be Touched: Hug Somebody Today!

Confession: I have been accused of being needy and clingy by past girlfriends because my needs for physical contact are higher than those of the average male. Nothing makes me happier than having a person I love hold my hand, play with my hair, or lay a head on my shoulder. I require a lot of personal touch to function happily in a relationship, and I’m okay with admitting that. The health benefits of touching are far and wide, so I’d like to convince you to increase the cuddle time with the loved ones in your life. I invite you to consider the top six reasons you need to be touched.

Happier, more fulfilling relationships

Oxycontin is a feel-good hormone that increases your overall happiness. Your body releases oxytocin when you cuddle with a close one, hold your partner tight, or get frisky in bed. Cuddling also releases endorphins, neurotransmitters that fire in your brain and make you feel terrific. If you’ve ever done a challenging workout that made you feel like energetic and accomplished, or ate a piece of dark chocolate that gave you a feeling of bliss, you should be familiar with the happy feeling endorphins produce in your body.

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Feel sexy and improve intimacy

Have you ever noticed that a little bit of cuddling with your partner sometimes leads to some more risque activities that are a whole lot of fun? Believe it or not, there is a scientific reason cuddling leads to better intimacy between loved ones! Physical contact with a person you love causes your body to release dopamine, a hormone that increases your sexual desire.

Strengthen your bond with the people you love

When your body’s needs for touch aren’t fulfilled, the bond you feel with your loved ones could suffer. Remember the hormone oxytocin that I mentioned above? This hormone plays a significant role in developing a bond between a mother and her children. Make sure you hug your children, kiss your partner, and give your pets a belly-rub to strengthen the bond with the important people in your life.

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Boost your health and immunity from sickness

According to a 2004 study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, physical contact with partners can lead to reduced heart rates. Increase your hug ratio and you can also look forward to reduced blood pressure, decreased cortisol (a stress hormone tied to weight gain), improved healing, reduced cravings, and boosted immunity.

Relieve stress and anxiety

Research shows that couples who only kiss during sex are a staggering eight times more likely to experience stress and depression than those who pucker-up on a regular basis. Kissing releases your body’s feel-good endorphins just like cuddling, so make sure you give your love a kiss before you run out the door to work: it just might make their day!

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Your body craves touch like it craves water

Touch was the first of your body’s five senses to develop. This sense has been a part of you since 6-9 weeks after conception, and was the most developed sense you had as a newborn baby. Research suggests that human beings are born with a need for physical contact, so to deny yourself touch is to deny yourself of a necessity for your emotional development and well-being. This isn’t to say you have to skip out of work so you can snuggle up in bed (although I’m not going to lie, I believe this sounds wonderful!), but twenty seconds of physical contact could elevate your mood for up to 24 hours. Who can argue with that?

Convinced yet?

I hope so! If these six reasons you need to be touched didn’t convince you, I don’t know what will. A little physical contact will go a long way to making you healthier, happier, less stress, and more fulfilled. Simply hugging your loved ones every day can increase your bond on a staggering level. Are you going to hug somebody today?

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More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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