We all know our bodies need nutrition to keep it active, so we feed ourselves with meals, fruits, drinks and snacks. But Do you know your skin can also be hungry? You need to constantly feed it with “nutrition” including hugs, kisses and touches.
About skin hunger
Have you ever met a baby of your own, your relatives, or your friends? If you do, I beg you must have planted kisses on the baby’s rosy cheeks and heads, gently squeezed the lovely hands and arms, and listened the baby saying hi to you with toothless smiles and hiccup-y giggles.
Skin-on-skin contact is important to an infant’s health and well-being. Research shows that children whose parents demonstrate love to them are actually smarter than those whose parents don’t. Cuddling and hugging can also promote happiness and produce oxytocin, the hormone which is essential to an infant’s growing.
With the infant growing up, they yearn for independence, and begin to require less physical affection. That is why adolescents don’t like hugs and kisses from their parents. (ever met the same problem?)
However, just like the stomach needs foods to feed it, the skin also needs touches to be fed.
A study by Harry Harlow revealed that newborn monkeys who were separated from their biological mother showed preference to the “mother” made of soft clothes without milk than the “mother” made of iron with milk. The baby monkeys always went for the cloth mother once got fed from the iron mother.
You are not alone
According to Dr. Kory Floyd (Psychology Today, 2013), skin hunger is even more common than you can imagine:
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% from 2003 to 2013.
The spread of loneliness indicates the lack of physical affection among Americans. When we’re hungry, we don’t just want food, but also need food as a nutrition supplier. Similarly, we don’t just want hugs when we feel skin hungry, we need them.
According to scientific studies, people who can be “fed” with hugs and kisses show advantages in multiple ways including feeling happier, having a sense of belonging to a group, and being less likely to experience depression and stress.
How to relieve your skin hunger
Fill time in your day to touch someone
Touching someone can make you feel comfortable. Hugging your family before going out, shaking hands with strangers in business, and giving your family massage every night can all help release your stress.
Get yourself a cuddle buddy
You may have a thousand friends on Facebook but only one friend in reality. That does happen, doesn’t it? The idea of a cuddle buddy is getting someone you feel comfortable with so they can fulfill the necessary role of a friend, lover or family.
Embrace the comfort of others
Do you think you can live completely on your own and don’t need any help from others? If you do, you are at risk of feeling depressed easily.
Opening up your heart to someone can be difficult, but embracing whoever comes into your life can certainly help you out of difficult situations in life.