"Touch is such a powerful force that it can soothe stress, bring solace, help nurture, instill trust, spread good will and generally do a world of good for those who touch and are touched in return."
And affection overall can benefit humans in noticeable ways.
“Compared to people who are not especially affectionate in their relationships, those who are highly affectionate are happier, have higher self-esteem, are less stressed and less depressed, are more secure in their emotional attachments to others, and are more satisfied with their relationships,” Floyd said in an email interview.
“Affectionate behavior is also associated with a number of physical health benefits as well, including supporting immune functioning and improving the body's ability to manage stress.”
Although touch is important for healthy relationships, and has some major mental health benefits, all couples have different boundaries, wants and needs.
“People naturally vary in how comfortable they are with affection, so it should never be forced,” Floyd said.
“The ‘how’ of affection is much less important than whether people feel genuinely loved, so grand gestures aren't required. I like to recommend small, nonthreatening behaviors such as holding hands as a way to introduce more affection into a relationship. Verbal affection is also important -- people who feel uncomfortable talking about their feelings aloud might find it easier to write them in an e-card.”
Other experts point to more reasons why people need to be more affectionate, and how they can go about this process.
Tina B. Tessina, a licensed psychotherapist and author of “Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage,” said in an email that contact with others creates a biological reaction.
“Human or pet contact boost your serotonin and oxytocin levels, and will improve your mood quickly,” Tessina said.
“Touch also soothes and calms and gets those happy hormones going. You always have your arms with you. Learn to give hugs at every opportunity, touch your pets or loved ones lovingly, or even sneak a little, soothing rub on your own skin.