The sensation of touch is incredible for your nervous systems. From the time you were born, you responded powerfully to contact with your skin, whether that contact came from you or from a caregiver. After all, skin is the body’s largest organ. Often you engage in physical touch in entirely unconscious ways. You scratch an itch without giving it a second thought. You might massage your temples absentmindedly if you have a headache.You take a shower out of routine, many times without noticing or fully appreciating the rejuvenating sensations of warm water on your skin.
Touch plays a significant role in our sense
of well-being. When you’re deliberate and thoughtful about it, you can get the full benefits of appreciating the benefits of touch. Taking the time to attend to your body and indulge your sense of touch is a direct route to joy. There are so many small ways in which you can drop into joy through your body including:
• Press gently on an acupressure point.
• Identify a muscle that feels tensed and massage it out or stretch it out.
• Press the arch of your foot into a tennis ball or the leg of your desk chair or something comparable.
• Give yourself a foot massage.
• Lightly touch the skin on your hands, face, or forearms.
• Massage your scalp.
• If it’s hot where you are, go wash your hands with cold water and/or splash cold water on your face. If it’s cold where you are, use warm water instead.
• Hug a close friend or partner, allowing yourself to appreciate their embrace.
Notice how each of these different sensations makes you feel, not just on the outside but deep within. If you feel a reduction in tension or more relaxation in your muscles, see how that translates into feeling more peaceful inside. If your skin feels tingly, let that tingly sensation run down your spine and recognize that it likely causes you to smile the tiniest of smiles. Pay attention to the experiences that give you the most joy and know that you can tap into that at any time.