Holding hands is something so many of us do, largely without even really thinking about it. Many couples will naturally often reach for the other’s hand. But why? Is it because you just can’t keep your literal hands off each other, or could it be because it’s become routine? Are there any scientifically proven health benefits of holding hands with a romantic partner, friend, or parent/caregiver?
As psychotherapist Belynder Walia explains, hand holding is something humans have done for centuries. And it’s a practice that’s been subject to much research looking into why we have this impulse. “Regardless [of the reasons why we do it], the thought to take away is, hand-holding ultimately brings comfort, warmth, pain release and friendship to those who feel equally empathetic or compassionate,” she says.