Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Science of Happiness: The Importance of Touch

10/20/15: The Science of Touch

OK, let me open by saying that unless it's really obvious I'm amenable (like, extending my hand for a shake or doing "I need a hug" arms), I'd really rather you ask before touching me.  I know I'm not alone in hating being expected to kiss people I've met all of twice, right?
English: "Touch Me not" flower
English: "Touch Me not" flower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But, touch is important for happiness, so we watch a video to that effect.

...And the video points out yet another way in which I'm a freak who's pretty much designed to be unhappy. It discusses all the ways touch improves health: Alzheimer's patience who are touched suffer less depression (I don't know who you are or where I am, I certainly don't want you touching me!), students whose teachers pat them on the back are more likely to speak up in class (try the other way around; I was a total Hermione in school, but I would have freaked out if a teacher started touching me), kids who get pats on the back from librarians are more likely to check books out (not if I avoid the library from then on, I won't!).

Look, I believe the science. But it just seems like, over and over, the science is telling me I have a  choice: be unhappy, or get happier by doing things that make me unhappy. And if I'm going to be malcontent either way, shouldn't I at least save my effort and choose the easier path to malcontentedness?

What are your thoughts?

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