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.
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.
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!
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?
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?