Reach Out and Calm Someone

When you see a look of panic cross a loved one's face, offer something that will have an immediate impact: your hand.

Perhaps it's instinct to do that anyway. But now there's hand-holding data to back it up. In a recent study, the touch of a loved one had real power in times of crisis. Brain scans of people under duress revealed that threat-related brain activity diminished when a loved one grabbed their hands. Here's more good news about supportive relationships . . .

Cultivating good relationships brings lots of perks, not the least of which is stress reduction for both parties. If you've ever cozied up to a companion during a scary movie, you know the feeling. But the calming influence extends far beyond horror-movie moments. A good friend or family member can also help talk you through real-life troubles, or they can just be a comforting physical presence during tough times.

An additional benefit of stress-reducing social connections? A better immune system — which means a lower risk of infection and faster healing.

Has there ever been a better reason to reach out and touch someone?

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