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The science of how touch makes us happier

Stashed in: Hugs!, @bakadesuyo, Awesome, Massage, Life Hacks, Hugs

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Here's what we learned about the power of touch:

  • Affection makes you successful: Kisses before work can add five years to your life and 30 percent to your paycheck. (Kisses atw ork lead to lawsuits.)
  • Hugs really do make you happy: Eight glasses of water a day doesn't make you healthy; it only makes you pee more. But eight hugs a day do make you happier. Smile more, pee less.
  • Massage strengthens relationships: And they help prevent wrinkles. Botox is expensive. Massages are free.

Okay, that's a lot of formal science about the most informal of subjects. But what happens if you listen to all these cold, clinical studies? You'll be considered a warmer person. That's nice, right?

No — it's awesome. When people perceive you as warm they also see you as having a ton of other wonderful traits. But most of all, they trust you more.

From Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart, and Mind:

The person described as warm was more often rated as generous, sociable, and humane, while the cold person was viewed as ungenerous, unsociable, and ruthless… perceiving someone as warm indicates a specific constellation of traits: helpfulness, friendliness, and, most important, trustworthiness.

I'd give you a hug right now if I could, but I can't. So instead… I'll give you homework:

Try that Penn State experiment yourself: Give or get five hugs a day.

They can be from anyone. Can you do it for a month?

Remember, people reach for their phone 85 times a day. Maybe try reaching for a hug instead?

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