Building a connection with your spouse takes effort – a lot of effort. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be complicated or difficult. Nothing we’ve suggested and none of the ideas we will suggest are complicated. They just take a little time and some effort.
Your challenge for tomorrow is no different. As a matter of fact, your challenge for tomorrow is so simple I think the tendency will be to brush it off and not do it because you think it’s trivial. So, let me start by giving you some reasons why you should complete the challenge even though it’s simple.
There is a chemical that our bodies release called oxytocin. According to the research of Dr. Paul Zak, increased levels of oxytocin have a huge, positive impact on our connection to others. In a way, he argues that oxytocin is responsible for the connection. Increased oxytocin is also linked to trust and improved communication between partners, both of which aid in developing our connection.
If oxytocin has such a large impact on how we connect with others (specifically our spouse), doesn’t it make sense that we should do things to increase the amount of oxytocin our bodies produce?
Again, through his research, Dr. Zak has shown that the easiest way to increase oxytocin (and in turn, our connection to others) is physical touch. Dr. Zak’s prescription is to hug 8 times a day. Other ways to increase oxytocin are:
- Holding hands
In addition to helping us connect to one another, increased oxytocin also has the following benefits:
- An increase in happiness
- A decrease in blood pressure
- A decrease in heart rate
- A decrease in cortisol levels (cortisol is released when we are stressed)
Day 5 Challenge – Touch
Pick one thing from the list above (even if it’s just holding hands) and spend at least 15 minutes doing it. That’s 15, undistracted minutes- no tv, no phone, no kids, no computer. Just the two of you. Alone.
You can sit quietly, have a conversation, or have periods of both. Enjoy the time together. Think about how you feel when you are touching each other. Maybe even talk to each other about how it feels – weird, funny, awkward, sensual, loving, good…..
For the Overachievers
You can always pick more than one. You could always try two, three, or four 15-minute periods (Gasp! A whole hour of touching?) Give it a try. It’s not hard. You just have to be willing to put in the time and effort.