Physical touch of any kind can make a huge difference in the way a person feels. It can make their relationship stronger and leave them feeling cared and loved.
The soothing touch of your partner can sometimes be the solution to your stressed day at work. Touch does not mean only sexual kind but it can also be a warm hug, a kiss on the cheek or even a back rub. However, it is also quite common to forget just how comforting your partner's touch can be when you've been in a long term relationship.
Many experts over the years have talked about the benefits of touch on our mental and physical health. "Interpersonal touch has other positive consequences: For example, greater positive touch improves romantic relationships, strengthens friendship bonds, triggers more positive emotions, and encourages people to be more responsive to others' needs," quoted Psychology Today.
According to Healthline, touch can relax your body and put you at ease. “If someone [you trust] holds your hand or hugs you or gives you a back massage before you have a stressful task like giving a speech, your heart rate slows, blood pressure lowers, and your stress hormones will decrease,” said Tiffany Field, Ph.D. who is the director of the Touch Research Institute at the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami. She also added that couples benefit from it as it releases the love hormone oxytocin that results in relaxation and other positive feelings.
"There are a lot of feelings that go along with receiving a touch from your partner and most are positive feelings reflected in brain waves,” said Christine Proulx, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science at the University of Missouri. Other than its relaxation benefits, it makes people feel connected to each other.
An experiment conducted by an American psychologist Harry Harlow found that creating bonds required both physiological as well as emotional needs. "Touch does all this great stuff in terms of releasing chemicals and giving us comfort,” said Dr. Amy Banks, a psychiatrist based in Lexington, Massachusetts, and author of “Wired to Connect: The Surprising Link Between Brain Science and Strong, Healthy Relationships.” Therefore the simple gestures from your partner can make you feel connected in a deeper way. Moreover, when you feel connected to someone, it also makes you feel less lonely.
“There are lots of studies on how isolation and loneliness are detrimental to our health. Most human beings want to feel that someone loves and cares for them. Our close relationships can fill that desire,” said Proulx.
In order to reap the above benefits of touch, embrace each other after a hectic day, snuggle up when you watch television or even hold your partner while you are out for a walk.