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Article: A Simple Handshake Can Change Your Life

A Simple Handshake Can Change Your Life

A Simple Handshake Can Change Your Life



Recently I met a friend who was discussing how he became inspired to delve deeper into a lifestyle choice simply based on a simple non-judgemental handshake. A handshake? Yes he was discussing how this person was talking to him who was completely non-judgmental and just listened.

Given the advent of covid-19, social distance is mandatory and the power of touch has been lost. I am not talking about inappropriate touching but a simple gesture such a handshake speaks volumes. Whenever I see a patient, prior to covid-19, I always made the effort to shake their hands when they came to see me (except children and when not practical!).

Both the power of touch and active listening are two essential skills which have become lost in the age of social media. A hug, a smile, a simple gesture can speak volumes. There are studies showing that touch signals safety and trust, it soothes. Basic warm touch calms cardiovascular stress. It activates the body’s vagus nerve, which is intimately involved with our compassionate response, and a simple touch can trigger release of oxytocin ( a feel good hormone).

Next time you are around people you know (and live in a covid-19 free environment or in a closed environment at home) make it a point to be mindful when you are present with someone and take note of the power of touch.

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