Hands … the bond of a simple grasp
Grasping — what a connection!
As we greet each other in person after so many months, or years, a grasp of the hands is so deeply connecting.
Even more than a hug or kiss, the hands connect us in ways felt but unseen. The skin contact and pressure allow you both to connect in many subtle, yet significant ways.
Tips to make a meaningful connection
- Gently, yet firmly greet each other. This can be using two hands on one hand, or hand to hand using both hands.
- Pay attention — feel the pressure that matches between your hands. You really don’t greet everyone the same — some lighter, and some more firm.
- Hang on (but too long)! There is a fine line between creepy and thoughtful connection.
- A smile and eye contact adds to the sensory experience. Dopamine flush!
What else happens while grasping hands …
By applying a gentle, yet firm pressure to the palm of the hand you support the entire body in subtle yet powerful ways. (Read a recent BLOG post about the many sensory receptors in the hands.)
- Holding hands directly provides a sense of security
- A firm grasp of the palm supports muscles, blood vessels, nerves, and lymphatic structures in the hand to relax, sending a cue to your entire body to relax.
- Melding hands also synchronize heart rate and breathing rhythms, a concept known as co-regulation.
- Dopamine and serotonin are released. These are the two neurotransmitters which help regulate your mood, and relieve stress and anxiety.
- The multi-sensory interaction enhances emotional bonding between the two people.
Insights on the science of touch
From neuroscientist David Linden is a fascinating discussion on touch, ranging from development to social implications. David Linden – Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart and Mind. A shorter discussion is his TedxUNC talk, The Science of Touching and Feeling.
As you gather this holiday, hold hands as you give thanks for all the blessings in your life, small and large! We feel blessed to have you as part of our lives.