As I sit inside on this bright, sunny morning I realize that just like pretty much everything in life us humans need warmth too. How even on a cold day when you feel the rays of sun hit your skin there is a reaction that happens inside. You feel less cold, your brain reacts to the sun by creating some serotonin which makes you more calm, increases your energy. One action in our lives creates a wider reaching ripple.
While it may seem small, the ripple of small things is extraordinary.” Matt Bevin
Warmth does not only come from the sun. As people we have the opportunity to show warmth to one another. Our interactions with others can convey warmth and caring by how we listen and respond, when someone is sharing a thought or experience. You know when someone is listening to you. There have been times in my life when I felt the warmth of caring surrounding me in the most powerful feeling that I felt my heart would burst. The simple actions of another human made a huge impact in my life.
Warmth has been resonating with me this past week. As I read articles regarding our COVID19 fatigue and how we all just want to be together with one another, I have also had a few people in my life who are struggling for different reasons with some big stuff. What they had in common is that they both talked how a giant, warm, hug was what they wanted. They wanted that moment where they felt wrapped in another person’s arm with tons of caring and physical touch.
An article in the Lifehack talks about the benefits of how even holding hands has positive physical reactions. The article states “Holding hands with your significant other decreases the level of a stress hormone called cortisol. Even the touch of a friend or a teammate can make us feel more content, connected, or better about ourselves. When we are stressed out, a light touch on our hand can help ease the strain, both physically and mentally. Our skin also gets more sensitive when cortisol is rushing through our bloodstream, so the touch of a helping hand will have a significantly larger impact. The largest concentration of nerve endings is actually contained inside the hands and fingertips.
Now I know we are still in the middle of a pandemic so there are some actions that should not be occurring…yet. I must confess I have hugged a person or two (wearing a mask and hand sanitizing after) who where experiencing significant emotional issues and needed a hug. I have held a few hands safely that needed a hand held while they talked. It felt like the right thing to do and it was done safely.
There are other ways we can show caring and warmth for others. We can listen, really listen to what they are talking about. Base our responses on the content of their conversation. Send a thinking of you text. Call to say hello, check in, I love you, I am here for you. At the grocery we can keep our eyes up and look people in the eye. Even when you smile at someone with your mask on the eyes show it. Say hello to people. Ever single one of us can be a ray of warmth and sunshine in the life of someone else. If you are going through your own darkness and challenge, in doing for others helps you feel less dark and down. An article in NAMI states “A 2016 study published in Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine found that giving had greater benefits than receiving. Participants in the study who gave help showed reduced stress and increased feelings of reward in their brain imaging. This research points to the conclusion that when you help others, you’re also helping yourself.”
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Mother Theresa
So people just as the sun shines just to do it’s sunshine thing, perhaps you can do your own personal ray of warmth thing. You are the only you there ever will be and our hurting world needs all the warmth you can give. The beauty in spreading warmth and caring for others is that you grow more warmth inside of you. What you do matters. You matter.
May your warmth be with you💜