Day 10 of isolation and in a world with limited touch at the moment and from someone who is used to treating people, I have become obsessed with touch.
Important health advice is not to touch our faces. And yet how many of you are struggling with this simple act? How many of you have realised how often you touch your face in a day, in an hour?
Why do we need to touch our faces so often?
A study found that medical students touched their faces an average 23 times in an hour during a lecture. Literature shows that we have been touching our faces since before we were born.
Research by Dr Nadja Reissland, Durham University, conducted ultrasounds on 15 women between week 24 to week 36 of pregnancy, found that foetuses were more likely to touch their face and interestingly with their left hand when the mothers reported feeling stressed.
Spontaneous facial self-touch is thought to be a self-soothing reaction in response to stress, attention distraction, anxiety or discomfort and helps to comfort and regulate emotions. And not surprising these movements are done with little or no awareness. Facial self-touch may help focus our attention back on a task.
The frequency of how often you touch your face, where you touch on your face and how long you touch your face for, changes with emotional demands and when your attention is distracted.
Touching your face is also a non-verbal way of communicating your feelings and emotions, especially if you are feeling awkward or uncomfortable.
I realised I touch my chin whenever I am trying to concentrate, or I rub my forearm if I am anxious or trying to calm myself.
Have you noticed when you think about not touching your face you do it more often?