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Berühren Sie mehr, berühren Sie oft

von NFI Redaktion

Resting in my husband’s arms, a small spoon nestled in his large one. His arm wrapped around me and his big palm resting on my heart. I sigh contentedly. The worries of the day seep into my pillow and tense muscles relax as my heartbeat slows.

This is the enticing, healing power of touch.

So let me ask you – have you cuddled with your sweetheart today?

As you will see in this video, intimate, non-sexual touch is a wonderful nonverbal way to cultivate connection, calmness, and a sense of psychological security. Plus, it just feels really good.

The Power of Nonverbal Communication

Let me say something that may seem somewhat radical – we talk too much!

A large part of our relationship is based on words. Of course, we need to discuss all the realities of life, like running our household, taking the kids to hockey practice, whether we should refinance the mortgage this year – all that I call „Marriage Inc“ or „Relationship Inc.“

We also use words to show affection and admiration – from sharing appreciation to responding to our partner’s bids for connection. Yet, too many couples do not cultivate their touch practices.

Well, I’m here to change that. Why? Because touch strengthens the relationship – and it’s relatively simple to do.

In my online program „Become Passion“ for couples, I teach „Touch More Touch Often.“ This is a small lesson in a comprehensive program that covers what I call the Three Keys to Passion. We do extensive work on topics such as communication, conflict resolution, rekindling romance, recovering from betrayal, issues with sexual desire, and much more.

However, when I ask couples for feedback on this comprehensive program, one of the top three responses is often „the importance of touch and the Three-Breath Hug“ – even though it’s one of the simplest things I teach.

So let me ask you again: Have you cuddled with your sweetheart today?

If not – or even if you consider yourself a cuddle champion – here are a few touch exercises you can add to your relationship repertoire.

The Three-Breath Hug

Face your partner. Then embrace. My husband is 20 cm taller than me, so my face rests on his chest. Wrap your arms around each other deeply and hold fairly tight. Place your palms flat on your partner’s back. Then breathe in together, pause, and breathe out together. Repeat this two more times.

Naked Cuddling Before Bed

I know, you like to wear your banana-printed flannel PJs or that faded Rolling Stones t-shirt and boxers to bed. You get cold, you don’t like to sleep naked, and hey, what if the fire alarm goes off and you have to run outside? I get it. But… the positive physiological and emotional effects of skin-to-skin contact make cuddling naked more calming and effective. That’s why I challenge the couples I work with to make naked cuddling a part of their bedtime routine. Don’t overthink it – just shed the pajamas and cozy up for a few minutes. If you really need those knee-high socks over your freezer toes, put them back on before falling asleep.

Holding Hands Everywhere

Luckily, my husband and I both love physical touch. We hold hands while walking our dog on the beach. When he’s driving, my hand rests on his knee or strokes his neck. We’ve arranged our couch so that we press our bodies together lengthwise while watching a movie – and yes, our fingers or toes entwine in it. In other words, we make intentional touch happen. So I urge you to buy new furniture that invites cuddling, set a timer to remind you to hug or kiss your sweetheart, and make touch conscious in many different ways.

Why does touch feel so good? Think about a newborn baby. Twenty years ago, I had the honor of witnessing the birth of my best friend’s daughter at home. As soon as the sweet Nora emerged from the birth canal, her father took off his shirt and pressed his little girl against his naked chest. It was pure instinct – skin to skin, heartbeats together – and she felt safe, connected, and welcomed in the world outside the womb.

What Touch Means

We are born to touch and be touched. If as adults we find touch uncomfortable, that’s learned behavior. Maybe we grew up in a household where loving hugs and goodnight kisses were entirely absent – a behavior our parents learned from their parents and so on. Perhaps we were shamed for seeking healthy caresses. Maybe we were traumatized by abusive touch. The beautiful thing is, we can relearn the natural joy of healthy human touch.

Human touch activates our parasympathetic nervous system – that’s the calming system that slows your heart rate, lowers your blood pressure, reduces anxieties and stress, and lets the mind know, „You’re safe, no tiger is chasing you, relax and let go now.“ Some newer research suggests that stimulating the vagus nerve – which acts like a highway between head and heart – also creates calm and safety. Guess what seems to stimulate the vagus nerve? Activities like touch, synchronized breathing, and placing your hand on your partner’s heart.

So if, like too many couples, you tend to only touch during sex, it’s time to redefine the role touch plays in your relationship. One Three-Breath Hug at a time.

If you enjoyed this video, check out Dr. Cheryl’s free live couple workshop on the three keys to passion.

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