“The world touches us in so many ways,” poet David Whyte reminds us in his book Consolations, “through the trials of love, through pain, through happiness, through our simple everyday movement through the world.”
This sense of connection is what many of us have missed in the last year: a hug from a friend, a kiss from a lover, the casual brush past a stranger on a crowded street. And it is essential, a need deeply rooted in our biology. Jesse Kahn, a licensed psychotherapist and sex therapist based in New York City, explains touch releases oxytocin, reduces stress, and calms our nervous system. The absence of it, he says, can manifest as “depression or anxiety or a feeling of loneliness or stress.”
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