Ground Yourself with Touch

Day 5: 6 Reasons You Need To Be Touched

Do you ever feel like you’re living in a bubble, surrounded by people but never touched?

We live in such a busy, crowded world, yet it’s so easy for many of us to go days, even weeks or months without touching or being touched by others.

While you might not notice the effects of not being touched right away, it can negatively affect your mood, your confidence  and your health. We are only beginning to understand the holistic way our bodies work and the relationship between our emotional well being and our physical health.

Here are 6 reasons why you need to be touched on a regular basis.

1. Feel connected to others. We are social beings, and although we all fall in different places on the introversion – extroversion scale, we all need to have that sense of connection to other members of our tribe. While some of that connection can come from having conversations with others, touch also plays an important role in human communication.

2. Reduce anxiety. Simply touching another person can make us feel more secure and less anxious. It can make us feel grounded and safe and not so all alone. It’s not just children who could use a warm, reassuring hug to make things a little better, so if you’re feeling like a bundle of nerves, go ahead and ask for a hug.

3. Bonding. Touch is one of the ways romantic partners bond with each other and parents bond with their children. When partners and families get busy and let touch go out the window, they’ll often find that they don’t feel as close and relationships suffer. Regular touch is one of the ways that we continually renew our bonds with those we love.

4. Lowers your blood pressure. Studies have shown that those that get regular touch often have lower blood pressure than those that don’t. Even having a pet can have beneficial effects! Touch can also slow the heart rate and help speed recovery times from illness and surgery.

5. Improve your outlook. It’s harder to get into a pessimistic funk when you feel the confidence of being connected to others. Touch can make people feel more optimistic and positive and less cynical and suspicious. A positive, trusting attitude towards others can reduce tension in our daily lives and improve our relationships.

6. Give us the sensory input that we crave. Scientists are just discovering how truly important it is to exercise all our physical senses for proper brain and emotional development. All the various kinds of touch from butterfly kisses to deep tissue massage send our brains the physical inputs it needs to make sense of the world. So, along with touching other people and pets, make time to explore different textures and touch sensations such as letting cool sand run through your fingers or taking a warm relaxing bath.

Don’t let yourself get too busy that you starve yourself of touch. It’s important for your physical, mental and emotional well being to touch others and let others touch you.

 

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Tracy O’Connor blogs about ghostwriting and living a better life. Follow her on Twitter.

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  • http://www.transformationalmotivation.com/ M. A. Tohami

    “There is an energy field between humans. And, when we reach out in passion, it is met with an answering passion and changes the relationship forever.” – Rollo May

    Reach out in passion.

  • http://www.theemotionmachine.com Steven

    This is so ridiculously true, and yet many of us don’t get our “touch fix.” You have to remember that it isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Even though we are surrounded by others, some of us are too shy or reserved to reach out and get touched. What do you recommend for those individuals who want to be touched, but can’t work up the courage to do it?

    • http://ptmtutah.blogspot.com Scott Morrison

      Get a regular professional massage.

      • Zeyeyez

        Why should a man or woman have to pay for something that should be free.  It makes no sense whatsoever that so many women and men are going without the most necessary thing for their well-being, simple massaging each other is simple, fun and easy.

        • Scott Morrison

          Because some people are too shy or reserved to ask for it from the people they often interact with. Others live in abusive communities, where those they might ask might try to do more than hug them…. These are very real, society pervasive problems. You may have access to one or more people from whom you can get a hug, or trade a massage with. Consider yourself lucky–and in the minority, if so.
          Getting a “Professional”massage, will give some of these an opportunity to be touched-a lot & for a long time, without having to hire a prostitute and expose themselves to all the risks inherent in doing so. These are kinda the extreme ends of the spectrum of possibile solutions, I’ll trust that you will appreciate that and that you’re intelligent enough to see the bigger, more complex picture here, and get the gist of what I’m saying.

    • Sara

      Hug machine!

  • http://www.masterkeywisdom.com/blog/ king

    This Is The message The world Now!!! Blessed keep up the good work!

  • http://reclaimyoursexuality.com DrCastellanos

    Absolutely! Most people don’t realize that touch can lower your blood pressure and how healing it can be! I mentioned this in the following blog post: http://bit.ly/cPM7av Love following you!

  • http://hanofharmony.com The Vizier

    Hi Tracy,

    Bonding with family and friends through touch is very important. It is a very simple thing, to touch and be touched. Yet a lot of people take this basic human need for granted.

    I love all the 6 reasons you have given for the need to touch on a regular basis.

    Touching is indeed a great way to feel connected to and bond with your family and friends. It adds another dimension to conversations and the relationships you have.

    I also like how touching is good for your health as it reduces anxiety and lowers your blood pressure. In this highly stressed society, our health can suffer from pent up frustrations. How wonderful it is to have such a simple yet effective method in dealing with stress through touch.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Ashley

    Wow! This is probably what’s wrong with me.
    Thanks for the information!

    • Cherylrichards

      Want a big cuddle Asley ? Lol lol
      Cheryl Australia

  • GrouchInACan

    Haha, I haven’t been touched in years, if ever. I would totally not call myself a social being in the slightest.

    I might disagree to quite a bit of the article and much might not apply to someone like me, but I agree about keeping the different senses engaged. All of them. Just taking in as much as the world has to offer.

    And I’ll say the article is very solid advice. To the majority of people. There are all different types. Maybe I’m broken.

    Best of wishes.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RZ42HMEFPN2WM3QTIZDA4OLFAI mudpiesarefun

      You are not broken you are just different.  I cannot stand to be touched. Someone hugged me in January of 2011 and I thank the higher being(s) everyday that no one has tried to again. 
      We are all different and it  you are fine.

      • LostOne456

        I can’t either. But that’s because I was abused as a child. Now any time someone acts like they’re going to it reminds me of how I was hurt before and I shy away so it doesn’t happen again. Touch is not a basic need of mine. 

  • http://myselfimprovementjourney.com Kevin

    This is a great article. I have always noticed the power of simple touch by another person, although I have never actually put it into words.

    If I go a while without much physical contact with others, and simple touch of fingers with a cashier has a noticeable effect. It seems strange, but it has very real effects.

    You can learn about my journey here: mySIJ.com.

    Thanks for putting the power of touch into words for me! :)
    -Kevin

  • http://enlightr.com Craig Thomas

    Excellent, positive post, :) Touching really is a great thing – it’s a shame people are so against it. People even frown upon people who offer free hugs. I mean, come on. Let’s touch. :)

  • http://twitter.com/normanhh3 Norman H

    This concept of touch is only one of at least five ways that people show love to each other according to http://www.5lovelanguages.com. Check out the book and learn more ways to show love to those around you!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RZ42HMEFPN2WM3QTIZDA4OLFAI mudpiesarefun

      there is no such thing as love.

      • IHeartWater

        Nope. It’s just a lie. :|

  • http://upfromsplat.com Ande Waggener

    Bravo! Yes, I’ve done a couple posts on this subject on my inspirational/photo blog, The Joyful Springer. Touch is so important.

    And thought human to human touch enhances our connections with others and grounds us in our humanity, touching a pet is powerful too. They’ve done many studies to show how blood pressure is lowered when people hug or stroke pets. I even think that when you have regular contact with a pet, it makes it easier to make human touch a regular part of our lives.

  • http://www.collinsforsuccess.com Collins

    Hi Tracy,thanks for your interesting writing about touching each other.I think this is one of the prominent reasons why I got married.Iam feeling great touching my wife on a daily basis.

    Cheers!

  • pramod

    Thank you for informing me. Really lonliness is the main reason to feel insecure. Stay in touch has the healing quality.

  • LERATO M

    This is so true, i’ve realised that touch is very important.Just a simple hug from a child or a friend can make a huge differance.

  • http://www.coffeetogoshop.com Joe

    I have to commit that I did not know that touching is that important! Thoug I feel always better after a hug… :)

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  • ravi patwardhan

    I can imagine and visualise mentally that touch should matter in your life as it is stated.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RZ42HMEFPN2WM3QTIZDA4OLFAI mudpiesarefun

      I don’t think it does matter.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RZ42HMEFPN2WM3QTIZDA4OLFAI mudpiesarefun

    I have lived for twenty years with little or no physical touch.  After living this way for so long the thought of someone touching me makes me ill.  Even witnessing other people touching makes me gag. 

    I think the researchers are wrong. People can live without touch and be fine.

    • Ms_spurs

      Yes, you sound just fine  - not.

    • notenoughlove

      ‘..witnessing other people touching makes me gag’. ‘People can live without touch and be fine’.
      Case closed !

    • Daxisle

      Despite what these idiots think, I’m in agreement with you.

    • James David

      Well, I am sorry but I have to tottally disagree with you… For me at least. I have had bad acne for the past 5 years and it’s starting to lead to other mental illnesses because I’ve become so socially withdrawn and depressed. If I could only be touched by a girl who accepted me for who I was right now, I would feel 1000000X better about myself and life in general. I wouldn’t be so paronoid and sketchy and just plain uncomfortable to be around people. I wouldn’t have such bad social phobia anymore… And I would also go as far as saying that my acne would probably go away because I wouldn’t be so stressed out and experiencing the same pain bodies that I do on a regular day to day basis.

      • Sara

        I’m sorry you are experiencing that. Touch is vital to our well-being. The fear you have is real but not justified. You have to put yourself out there if you ever want to be touched. The chance of rejection might be high but if you don’t take a chance you have sealed your fate.

    • To each their own

      I used to hate hugs, and honestly I still do, mostly. But I’ve lived near 20 years without much touch and I never wanted it either. One could argue I wasn’t fine because of it, but to each his own. I know how you feel and I wish people wouldnt responsd so negatively to your opinions. Not everybody needs the same things in their life. And to everybody else; just because somebody doesn’t like hugs or PDA doesn’t mean you can treat them like they’re sick or broken.

  • http://flawlessconfidence.com Martin K.

    Thanks for this article. It made me thinking. Some people say that touch is vital to a happy relationship. I’m not sure if it’s true, so I have to find out – I’ll try to touch people more often from now on!

  • Dinah

    I disagree with this. I don’t need touch. In fact I go out of my way to avoid being touched. Know why? Every touch hurt me in the past so avoiding it now is my self defense mechanism. I don’t care how “healthy” touch is-I do not require nor crave nor need it to get by.

    • Scott

      Dear Dinah, I respectfully hear you.  But, if you are willing to stand back from your comment, and view it from a “bird’s eye” view, entirely objectively, you’ll see that the reason you do actually need positive, compassionate, “healthy” touch.

      As you pointed out yourself in your response, your living out of your defenses, your innate survival reflexes, or your body’s “fight, flee or freeze” response to trauma.  I’m very sorry to hear that you have had such a negative experience with touch in the past.  Too many people are victims of this.  Touch, unfortunately, is perhaps life’s most potent “two-edged sword”–wielding the power to transform lives, both for the better and for the worse.

      I would venture to say that more people than not misuse this powerful gift, largely out of ignorance, and weakness.  It is better to avoid it than be exposed to negative forms of touch.  But to receive it from people you trust, people (or animals) you know will treat you right, can do wonders for recharging your body and spirit.

      You are absolutely correct in saying that you do not require nor need it to “get by”–to survive.  You do, however, require positive healthy touch to thrive.

      Find a local female massage therapist that you can work with.  Start by just having her give you a fully clothed chair massage.  Then, as the relationship proves trustworthy, move to a table massage, perhaps beginning by just removing your tops, eventually moving to fully disrobing, if you ever become adequately comfortable. 

       Remember, working with a Licensed Massage Therapist you will always be “draped” or covered with a sheet and/or blanket.  Your “private” parts will ALWAYS remain private and covered.  And you ALWAYS will have control over where you want touch and where you don’t.  Express your concerns with your therapist upon initially meeting, ask questions, don’t hesitate to express discomfort during the massage (whether its too soft, or too hard, too fast or too slow, etc.).

      Doing this will empower you to re-enter your skin.  To fully re-integrate your mind/spirit with you body’s somatic experience.  This will, over time, completely change your emotional disposition and composition as a human being.

      Try it.  Then come back and let us know what you found.  I’m on YOUR side.  I am a proponent of touch largely because I went a lot of years without it.  Best wishes to you.

      • Colored Pencil

        Aw, leave her alone. She won’t do that-you wasted your time writing that. 

        • Adam

          Yes, I agree, let’s not try to change others’ feelings about touch. I used to be defensive against all touch due to having been excessively physically punished as a child. I was even a victim of excessive use of force in a psychiatric insitution years ago. After leaving that psychiatric institution, I was a sign language student. I met some DeafBlind people who use the same signed language as sighted Deaf people but they touch both-hands-to-both-hands to “feel the signs”. I got comfortable with that quite quickly. My expreience with the DeafBlind changed me FOR-E-VER, and even more so when a DeafBlind woman cuddled me in September of 2009. Now I CRAVE human touch, especially cuddles. I’ll gladly cuddle with someone who’s not DeafBlind, even though that’ll mean there won’t be any tactile signing when we communicate.

          • me

            embracepositivetouch.com hugs to you.

          • Adam

            It does look like they’re not in my area, and they even charge the same kind of fees that massage therapists charge. I assume you were just trying to mean well by giving me this info. So thanks anyway :-)

  • http://twitter.com/wihmunga Wihmunga Li

    Agree! simply a hug can keep me feeling tranquility. All animals like to be touched, that why my dog looks so comfort when I’m touching her  :)

  • Rodrigo Fernandez

    neeeeeeeed touch. Touch me babe! Can’t you see that I am not afraid…. good song

  • Kswayne36

    agree

  • raymond

    i just got touched by this information!
    a woman’s touch can cure a man’s troubled soul.
     

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/W7454XNP6PVHXWTWCIOYWHH5TI Simple

    I hate being touched in any way.  I read this stuff hoping that I will understand why.  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/W7454XNP6PVHXWTWCIOYWHH5TI Simple

    I hate being touched in any way.  I read this stuff hoping that I will understand why.  

  • Down2earth 7765

    I NEED help, i need to be hugged. I been hugged and nothing helping. PLEASE help :(

    • umang

      You know the fact : If you are a woman, it is easy for you to get a hug.
      I am a man. If I say “I need to be hugged” i will get less or nil response.
      I am open for email communication: umang.201078@gmail.com

  • Down2earth 7765

    I NEED help, i need to be hugged. I been hugged and nothing helping. PLEASE help :(

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  • Gagan Kalra

    The bollywood song “Zara zara touch me touch me” is now making all sense to me. Too good an article

  • Thepinayglobetrotter

    A really nice post. :) There’s really something powerful and magical with human touch :)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/suzan.vaughn Suzan Vaughn

    Touch someone today.

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  • Jelly

    I’m gonna hug my boys twice when I pick them up from school! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Mike Rowedick

    I’m touching myself right now…..ooohhh…aaahhhhhhh…ooohhh

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  • Annie Byrne

    Hey funnily enough I recently wrote a post on the subject of human touch and contact – http://theocdsquirrel.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/skin-hunger-how-important-is-the-human-touch/ – even if we don’t feel like we need people near us skin-to-skin contact, we don’t know it but we need it

    • Mike Rowedick

      I suddenly have an urge to run outside and touch squirrel.

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