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Reach Out and Touch Someone

tpentrepreneur We learned something fascinating. We would say exciting, but we wouldn’t want to give you the wrong impression! There is evidence that lovin’, touchin’, and squeezin’ can lower your stress!

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Holding hands

In a study of women, researchers found that holding hands reduces stress. They divided their participants into two groups: one group held hands with their spouse while the control group didn’t. Then they gave all of the women a low-level electric shock. The hand-holding group showed lower stress levels.

Hugging

Good Housekeeping published an article about some other studies that have discovered simple ways to reduce stress. We just talked about hand-holding; now let’s add hugging.

In one study cited in this article, researchers had a group hold hands with their spouses for ten minutes, followed by a twenty-second hug. The other group just sat there, not touching their spouses.

Researchers then asked all the participants to talk about a past event that stressed them out. The group that had held hands and hugged showed a lower heart rate and lower blood pressure that those who had not.

Kissing and more

The same article cites a study that showed that couples who kiss regularly also show less stress. This is all great news for couples who are together, but what if your significant other isn’t around when you’re feeling a lot of stress? Or what if you’re single?

Studies have also shown that a hug from a friend or a professional massage does the trick, too!

The personal touch at work

Obviously, there’s a fine line to touching in the workplace. However, if done properly, it can be an effective tool. Of course, if you’re just using it as a “tool”, it won’t come across as genuine.

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georgeI’ve had people shake my hand who touched the bottom part of my forearm up toward my elbow. I have to admit, I often feel a stronger connection with a person who does this naturally.

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marylynnI’ve noticed that when I shake hands with someone, I’ll often clasp my other hand on top. It feels more special than just a handshake.

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georgeI’ve learned that when someone is over-exuberant, irritated or upset – if you softly put a hand on their shoulder, it’s a way of saying that you understand and they calm down.

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marylynnI’ve seen managers literally give someone a pat on the back – not the lower back, but up between the shoulder blades. It makes them feel good.

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And of course, in sports, you often see the coach give the players a little pat on the butt. We don’t recommend that for the workplace!

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marylynn
Ah c’mon, I’m going to ask George to turn the other cheek!

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(Image by Mrinkk)