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It’s a relatively easy way to connect and something we often do more at the beginning of a relationship, but it can have a profound impact on your mental health – holding hands.

Hand-holding is an essential part in human bonding, with even newborn babies often instinctively reaching to grasp their mom’s fingers and palm. While mainly seen as a romantic gesture, holding someone’s hands mental health benefits. Holding another’s hand sends signals to our brain that give us a feeling assurance and security. In one study, where women were faced with stressful situations, even holding the hand of stranger lessened their stress. But in similar situations when women in the study held the hand of their husband, it dramatically reduced their anxiety.

If you are looking for a simple way to bond with your partner and provide a sense of security, make it a point to hold their hand more often.