When I heard that neuroscientists found that touch activates the brain’s cortex, which is linked to feelings of reward, my weight loss bells and whistles went off.
People tell me (and back in the day, before I permanently removed over 50 pounds, I said it too), “I had a hard day; a seriously hard day! And I deserve to eat whatever I want to eat, without limitations. I need, I want, I am going to give myself a reward!”
Does the “reward food” ever really do “it” for you? How’s that “I deserve” mentality working for you? Maybe – just for a minute, while the sugar, salt and fats are making their way across your taste buds, the food soothes — but afterwards? How do you feel then?
Touch is a sophisticated system. It is basic and key to our species. In the absence of touching and being touched, we weaken and grow “touch-starved.”
Could it be that you are not in need of cake, ice cream, fried Twinkies or the “reward food” of your choice? Could it be that you are hungry for touch?
Based on the concept that in order to receive what you need, you need to give it first. And, based on our collective experiences, we know that giving is better than receiving, how about we give what we need.
In other words, instead of throwing a pity party because there aren’t enough warm hugs coming your way, how about you reach out and touch somebody’s hand.
- Greet with a handshake or a hug.
- Reassure with a touch to the arm.
- Encourage with a pat on the back.
- Try a playful fist bump.
- Soothe with a hug.
- Signals safety and trust
- Calms the cardiovascular system
- Activates the body’s vagus nerve, which is connected to compassionate response
- Can release oxytocin, a.k.a. the love hormone
- Stimulates the brain’s happy hormones
- Reduces blood pressure
- Reduces pain
- Increases pleasure
- Boosts the immune system
- Lessen symptoms of depression
- Lessen fatigue and irritability
Join with me and Our Lady of Weight Loss as we set our intention to: End “Touch Starvation” Now!
For more “touchy-feely” conversation, visit: Kick in the Tush Club/Facebook!
Spread the word…NOT the icing!
Life & Wellness Coach, Weight Loss Expert
wise * fun * utterly useful
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