Happiness: The Importance of Human Touch

The physical contacts would have an impact on our well-being and at the same time, our happiness. However, the sense of touch is often mistreated in our hurried society. Advocacy to better reconnect with this need to be in contact with others.

Giving a handshake, hugging, gently flattering your back, putting your hand on someone else’s, putting your arms around a person’s shoulders, taking the time to hug, doing a “high five” etc. These are all gestures that bind us, in a beneficent spirit, to others, but that we do not ask perhaps often enough. Why? The embarrassment, probably. The discomfort too, because we do not know how the other will react and that socially, it looks like the gestures of affection have become suspicious. We are afraid that our good deeds will be misinterpreted. Of course, with our immediate surroundings, these gestures are better accepted, but can we have a spontaneous momentum with everyone? The question is needed.

Yet, at all ages of our lives, we need human contacts. These are a universal language that is often useful when words are useless or difficult. A hand placed on an arm with a slight pressure may comfort more than many words.

For me and for the other

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Human contacts have the dual power of making us reconnect with our own emotions and awaken those of the person we touch. In fact, they remind us that we are beings of emotions and not only production beings, rational or reflected. To realize it, one only has to become aware of the benefactor impact that a kind gesture can have in our daily life. The repercussions are numerous: improvement of our mood, feeling of appeasement, reduction of stress, relaxation of tension and stiffness, feeling of being understood and accepted, etc. When a friend opens our arms to give us a hug, we then abandon ourselves to our emotions. Not necessarily with this person, but this touch brings us back to our emotions. We descend from our head to be more in the “felt”.

Here, now, I feel …

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Moreover, touch forces us to live in the present. We are not in the past or the future. The contact takes place in the present moment, this privileged moment that one often escapes. This state of mind can only be reached when our emotions or sensations are awakened. When we navigate in the past or in the future, we can say that we are in a more cerebral and less emotional state. It is therefore by touch that we can settle more often in the present moment. One may need human contact with others, but each time one experiences a sensation, one turns one’s attention to the present. The more we live in the present, the better we feel.

Examples of these “touches”:

  •      Feel the heat on you (by the sun or the fire)
  •      Rub a part of our body
  •     Give and Receive a massage
  •      Be immersed in the water (swimming pool, bath, etc.)
  •      Feel the wind on our skin
  •      Notice the contrast between hot and cold (when you enter a room after being outside)
  •      Tap the face
  •      Apply cream on our skin
  •      Scratching or rubbing when it stings or hurts