We hold hands a lot. We never knew why we enjoyed it so much until we listened to a talk by a clinical psychologist who spoke about the power of holding hands and its effect on the brain.
He put people into an MRI machine and lightly shocked them to see how their brains responded. With each small shock, the stress levels in their brains skyrocketed.
He then had them hold hands with a stranger. Their brain response calmed a little, but not much.
Then he had them hold hands with their spouse. This time their brains responded with far less stress, actually moving more toward normal levels. They also reported feeling less pain with the shock.
Finally, he decided to do an image scan of the brains of the spouses (those not getting shocked). To his surprise, he discovered that their brains mirrored the same stress level as the spouse who had received the shock.
He ended his talk by explaining that holding hands with someone is deeper than just enjoying physical touch – it’s our brain’s way of communicating to another person that we are “with” them. This signal is so powerful that done consistently over time it changes from “I’m WITH you” to “I AM you.”
“…and the two shall become one.” Sounds like science is catching up with the Bible. And it sounds like we need to hold hands more.