The current social frenzy supplements real human contact with a world of instant communication. With two eyes latched to a screen and technological devices rocking us to sleep at night - we desperately cling to these gizmos in the hope that they will strengthen our sense of connection. And although we may be mentally engaged, it certainly physically detaches us from each other, and masks a profound hunger for human contact. One hand on a phone is one less hand for a pat or a hug or a hand-hold. Especially for men, who in some cases may find any kind of human touch kind of awkward, even hugging.
Human touch is not a sentimental luxury but a biological necessity.
Touch hunger is at the forefront of our relational experience and profoundly impacts our nervous system - it de-stresses us. It sends soothing, grounding messages to a deeper and more primitive part of the brain, which helps to lower our stress hormone, lower heart rate and blood pressure and increase our immune system - all from basic human touch!
In the course of a day, think about how many times you are being TOUCHED - a hug a friend, an overlap of fingers as the barista hands over the morning coffee, a friendly pat on the arm from a well-meaning colleague. For some of us, these small moments of connection are almost non-existent, when in order to truly thrive (and not just survive) this oft-overlooked human need is essential.
I understand that this pandemic has impacted the accessibility for human touch and I hope that these changes are not lasting. It is important now more than ever to become mindful of your own skin hunger and need for human touch. Something I recommend to people who are going through a particularly stressful time is to indulge in regular massage therapy (even a pedicure or manicure - YES FOR GUYS TOO). Comment below, what do you think?
Author: Dr Kassi Klein from BLOKES IN MIND
P.S If you would like more support - Dr Kassi Klein offers 1-on-1 Coaching.
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