Day 13 ~ 177 Days of Unexpected Health Project

‘Physical’ Health

Today seemed painfully difficult to find unexpected health. In fact, I had a hard time spotting any health. I could have been sipping a smoothie out of a coconut while doing yoga on the beach and I still would have missed the health insights. Instead, here’s what my seemingly blind-to-health eyes focused on: buckets of rain; dark, dreary clouds; thunder that scared 10 years off my life; incredibly expensive espresso machine might be broken; electrical outlets at the salon can never just WORK; why am I carrying around this sopping wet umbrella that is actually dripping water on me…indoors! That is the kind of day I was having. But, as my eyes re-focused (at nearly 10pm), I discovered it: the health that is found…unexpectedly…from physical contact.

Now you might be thinking that there is nothing unexpected about the health benefits of physical contact. You might even be able to pull up JAMA archives and find a few studies. But, what is unexpectedly healthy about physical contact is that you are forced–physically–to remove yourself from your own world. And being aware of those around us is healthy.

As I laid down to write my daily insight, I sat and stared at my computer screen. I, for once, had nothing to say; nothing to write about; and definitely nothing healthy to share. After gazing at a blank screen for what had to have been 5 minutes, I felt my left arm heavy and weighted down. It immediately became too heavy to keep propped up on my laptop, which meant I physically could not type. This sort of shenanigans does not help a girl write her 13th-day entry of her 177-day journey! My first reaction was to get a little perturbed. “What now?” I thought. But then, I looked down and to my left, I felt my Siamese cat, Riley, nestled up against me, taking over nearly my entire arm. At that moment, I couldn’t help but crack a smile, forget about my problems of the day, and just pet him. He made it very clear that there was something much more important to pay attention to than my electrical outlets.

Life is full of headaches. We all have them. But what if we shifted our focus? What if we remedied some of life’s aches and pains not by an over-the-counter pill but by physical contact? Studies have shown that physical contact is essential for a child’s growth and development. Their health is directly dependent on another’s. But so are adults. Deep down, we are just kids in adult clothing. Our basic survival needs are still the same as when we were young. So, when you are having “one of those days” when the clouds just seem to follow your lead, remember that instead of pushing others away, draw them close…you might be amazed at how good a little physical contact can make you feel. -Until tomorrow, Jaime

If you squint your eyes only then can you see, that below is a place for comments to leave.

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