Think about the last time someone reached out and grabbed your hand just when you needed it. Chances are, this gesture immediately made you feel calmer, more supported, and ready to face whatever challenge was in front of you.
This response isn’t unique to you or your situation (though there’s no harm in focusing on yourself in those moments). You see, everyone benefits from human touch in a very real physical and mental way. Without human contact we become more aggressive and socially inept. We don’t know how to “be” in the world.
Human touch not only leads to a more enjoyable society for us all, but it also offers a range of health benefits. Whether you’re the giver or receiver, this simple act lowers blood pressure, boosts the immune system, and reduces stress levels. There’s not a person on this planet who doesn’t need help with these gems of physical well-being from time to time—if not regularly.
Now, I’ve confessed to being a hugger in the past, and not much has changed in that aspect of my life. But if hugging isn’t your thing, no need to fret. From a hearty handshake to a genuine pat on the back—even from a stranger—any level of human contact offers the benefits we crave.
According to my Celebrate Everything 2017 Wall Calendar, this Saturday, January 21st, is National Hugging Day. In the name of celebration, here’s a perfect excuse to throw your arms around your loved ones a few extra times. Or you can just use the day as a reminder to be kind to others, and don’t be afraid to reach out when the opportunity arises. Doing so will benefit everyone.