Do you miss hugging people? My kid and I were talking about this the other day – we are both so looking forward to the day when we can go and hug our buddies again.
Last year, during the first lockdown, y’know the one that felt as though the whole world had stopped, lots of articles were floating around talking about ‘Touch Deprivation’ as a huge personal cost of quarantine.
It’s true that physical contact, like a good long hug, releases oxytocin – one of the body’s feel good chemicals. Oxytocin calms our nervous system and regulates our mood. It’s considered to be one of the most important neurotransmitters in the body.
Almost all the articles focused on touch BETWEEN people. Hardly anyone mentioned that you can have skin on skin contact with yourself and get the same results.
What do I mean by skin on skin? Well, for example placing your hand on any part of your body, rather than touching through clothing.
Being mindful of the contact, feeling the warmth of your skin and whether there is a difference in temperature between hand and body, having an awareness of the shape of your hand, or the individual fingers, perceiving the softness or roughness of your skin, sensing the rise and fall of your breath or the flow of blood around your body.
Try this now. Place your hand on your chest, skin to skin, just below your collar bones. Take a moment to be there. Don’t move, just rest gently, and imagine your hand melting into your chest. Ask yourself: Can you sense a difference in temperature between hand and skin? Can you feel your ribs? Can you feel the softness between your ribs? Are you aware of your breath rising and falling in your chest? Without applying pressure just allow your hand to sit in place for a couple of minutes, and let me know how you feel afterwards.
This is a useful thing to be aware of, right? Because it means you can help yourself to feel grounded, calmer and more in charge of how you feel. That’s a pretty cool skill to have!
I’m aware that we’re all tired and feeling swamped by life and inboxes, so I’m trialling short succinct, emails. If however, you fancy spending more time with me and my method of working, think about joining Body Geek Club will ya?