Holding Happiness by Holding Hands

Feeling stressed out? Anxious? Ill at ease? Happiness could be just at arm’s length.

'Hand Holding' photo (c) 2007, Vincent Diamante - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/A study by the University of Virginia psychologist, Dr. James Coan, showed that holding hands can make you feel more relaxed and happy by actually reducing activity in the stress response area of the brain.

In the experiment, Dr. Coan administered a mild electric shock to a group of women and measured their brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). He repeated the test twice more, once when the women were holding a stranger’s hand and again when holding their husbands’ hand. In both cases when holding hands, the activity in the area of the women’s brain related to stress decreased. The decrease was greatest when holding the hand of a loved one.

This is great news for Valentines. Any time you are feeling stressed, just reach out and find a hand to hold. It can make a world of difference in how your brain reacts and how you feel.

To keep your hands looking and feeling great this February, visit either Portland Phagans location in the Lloyd Center area or Clackamas Town Center. Throughout the month, all manicures are 25% off and OPI nail lacquer is on special – buy two, get one free.


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