Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The need for physical affection

The need for physical affection

How do you feel when someone gives you a hug, a warm handshake, a friendly pat on the back, a kiss on the cheek, an affectionate touch? If you are a normal, breathing, living human being, it usually makes you feel great.

Here's an article that I saw about the importance of affection. I liked it so just thought I would share

The Importance of Affection

The Importance of Affection

By Susan Leigh

Being affectionate can be easier in some situations than in others. Some people we relate to better than others, feel closer to and are more comfortable being affectionate with. Some people will readily touch and be affectionate with young children or animals, but find it more difficult with adults. Revealing a softer, more affectionate side to ourselves can, for some people, be perceived as a sign of weakness.

Happily for many people, being more in touch with our feelings is becoming more accepted and acceptable. Showing an affectionate and caring side to one's nature is seen as an important and valid part of one's relationships with others.

Fathers are encouraged to be more involved with their family and children, taking time off after their baby is born, being more hands on with childcare. The days of the detached Dad, only brought in to dispense discipline after long hours at the office are less prevalent. This enables strong bonds to be developed from an early age. Affectionate gestures, touching, hugging and kissing, once felt to be solely the province of Mediterranean countries are now regularly experienced more universally.

Affection can also be a verbal gesture. Talking about feelings, demonstrating love verbally as well as physically is something more people are prepared to do. And knowing how others feel is important. We need to know that someone cares, feels affection towards us, is perhaps unhappy about something in their life and then we can discuss it, share it and endeavour to put it right together. Affection is about caring.

Hugs are an important part of affection. Many single people who live alone often report missing being hugged more than they miss sex. I read a report that said that human beings should be hugged six times a day. Many lonely people would find that their mental and physical health improved as a result of a commitment to hugs.

Affection is also demonstrated through actions. Being kind, sensitive and understanding shows an affectionate interest in others, in how they are. Taking time to stop, spend time with someone, show an interest, smile, maybe touch them lightly if appropriate, can all be important in building mutually supportive relationships.

Letters are a way of demonstrating affection over a long distance. Army personnel and people working away from home rely on letters for close, affectionate contact from loved ones. A letter is something that is often kept and treasured, a caring person wrote it out on paper just for them. Elderly people rarely receive anything other than bills and junk mail through their letter boxes. Receiving a welcome chatty letter from a friend or a family member can make all the difference to their day and lift their spirits for some time to come. The fact that someone has cared enough to take the time and write a letter demonstrates thought, consideration and interest and that can make all the difference to how they feel about themselves and their lives.

Demonstrating care and concern for someone else can make an important difference to that person in many ways. Knowing that we matter to someone else, that they perhaps think about us and wish us well helps improve the quality of our life and our sense of well-being.

Susan Leigh is a Counsellor and Hypnotherapist who works with

- stressed individuals to promote confidence and self belief,
- couples in crisis to help improve communications and understanding
- with business clients to help support the health and motivation levels of individuals and teams

For more information see

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