The Power of Touch2 min read

As we look forward to lifting the restrictive measures and re-integrating ourselves into everyday life that we don’t know exactly how it will be, as we should wear masks indoors, use gloves, avoid handshakes, hugs, and kisses, I felt the need to write about the importance of touching for our physical and mental health.

When we are born the first thing we understand is contact with our mother. In essence, we understand the limits of our bodies through their touch. The warmth, the caress, the contact during breastfeeding comfort the baby and nourish him emotionally, they make him feel safe and confident in his mother’s arms and so he can relax and calm down.

We, humans, are not destined to live in isolation – loneliness has been shown to have serious health consequences, leading to illness and premature death. For this reason, after the first 2-3 weeks of quarantine, I did not believe that such strict measures are good for health, on the contrary.

Close relationships not only help and promote positive emotions but also protect against the harmful effects of stress. A hug with our loved ones is not only comforting, but it also produces hormones in the brain such as serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin that help boost the immune system and prevent disease.

How many times when we are in pain physically or emotionally has our mother’s caress or the hug of our loved ones relieved us? Touching is not only analgesic and antidepressant but also promotes emotions such as empathy, gratitude, love, and compassion.

Mother Teresa had said that there was more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread – and she was not wrong. The close bonds and the feeling that they love us deeply affect how we feel every day and what choices we make in our lives.
Holding our partner’s hand, hugging and kissing our friends, visiting our loved ones, the intimacy that develops with touch and closeness are just as important to our well-being as proper nutrition and exercise.

And while communication via the internet was invaluable during quarantine as millions of people contacted, laughed, cried, exchanged words of love, nothing can replace human contact.

I look forward to hug my loved ones.

Μαρία Στυλιανάκη
Latest posts by Μαρία Στυλιανάκη (see all)

Leave a Reply