Human touch is essential.
How are people coping with skin hunger or touch deprivation?
Studies show physical contact with other people reduces feelings of stress. Evolutionary psychologists say it can all be traced back to our monkey ancestry. Grooming each other’s fur is how apes build friendships. Humans have substituted that grooming with stroking and cuddling, he says and that act of physical touch has a profound effect on our health.
“Not only does it build friendships directly and indirectly, but those friendships have a dramatic effect on your well-being, your general health, your ability to recover from illnesses and even your longevity.”
So many rules about preventing the spread of the corona-virus warn against touching other people. Just as a stomach needs a proper amount of food to thrive, a human’s largest sensory organ (your skin) has a need for physical contact.
What kind of effect does this lack of human touch have on people?
What Lack of Affection Can Do to You – Psychology Today
We’re facing a crisis of skin hunger, and it has real consequences.
Maybe you wish your spouse or partner were a bit more demonstrative of his or her love. Maybe you’ve tried without success to get certain people in your life to be more affectionate with you, so you go on wishing for more affection than you receive. If any of this sounds familiar, then you’re experiencing a common problem known as skin hunger, and you’re far from alone. Consider:
- Three out of every four adults agree with the statement, “Americans suffer from skin hunger.”
- More Americans live alone than ever before.
- One in four Americans reports not having a single person to talk to about important issues.
- Loneliness among American adults has increased by 16 percent in the last decade.
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