Most of us live our whole lives taking the little things for granted, so it can be rather illuminating to realize exactly how these little things can make a significant impact to our existence. A good example of this is the capacity for people to express their emotions through physical gestures. Going beyond the gift of articulating ones feelings into ardent words of joy or passion, physical contact differentiates humans from other animals.

From a gentle kiss on the cheeks or a compassionate whole body hug, such acts are vital in order for us to really wield our humanity with grace and dignity. However, we now live in a progressively digital and ever-evolving modern age where the human touch is at risk of becoming rare, if not outdated. But just like the encouraging presence of a humble word gift, the human touch is eternal and resilient, and here are the reasons why we should appreciate loving physical gestures more.

Building trust

Trusting people is something that is not easily earned, especially if they aren’t part of your intimate circle of close friends and family members. Admittedly, it can be difficult to trust virtual strangers the first time you meet them. But simple body language such as eye contact, smiling, and a friendly pat on the shoulder can go a long way to establishing a connection that will allow you to being the process of building trust towards others and be more open to confiding in others that aren’t friends or family.

Stronger relationships

No relationship—whether platonic or romantic—can truly thrive unless both parties are able to express their feelings or emotions through touch. People frequently say that actions speak louder than words, so it’s not really that much of a stretch to see that body language can convey all of the intangible things we can’t put into words. The important thing to take away from this is that when friends or lovers want to strengthen their bond, then they need to invest a considerable amount of time expressing their inner selves in a non-verbal manner.

Enhanced intimacy and intelligence

Of all the human senses, touch is perhaps the most intimate due to its directly tactile nature. As people go through the various developmental stages in life, their capacity to feel and think logically is tied to how tactile they are with other individuals. Children learn the concepts of love and faith from their parents and teachers, and part of their learning experience is by showing them affection via comforting hugs or holding their hands while praying. When kids grow older and pass through adolescence and adulthood, the lessons they have learned from their childhood will prove to be valuable when they pass on that knowledge to the next generation.

Personal wellbeing

When we get hurt, either physically or emotionally, the initial cure to take our minds away from the pain is the touch of a loved one giving us that emotional anchor to prevent us from going completely off the rails. Anyone can offer verbal reassurances, but it takes a higher level of courage to really use the body as a tool for emotional comfort. After all, a hug or a kiss can soothe those with broken bones or hearts.