I was babysitting earlier this week. The baby was quite fussy for awhile. Finally he wrapped his little hand around my thumb. He quieted down and I felt his body relax as he exhaled and then drifted off to sleep. There in that moment, there was peace. He found a place of safety and was content. But, the strange thing I noticed was that I found peace too. Before that, my mind was swirling with thoughts of everything I should be doing: writing the lesson for the weekend, applying for jobs, etc. I could have put the baby down and tended to any one of those things. But in that moment, with his soft fingers gripping my thumb and the feel of his little body breathing against my chest, all of those things seemed much less pressing.
I noticed the same thing happened a couple of nights ago. I was feeling very tense. My boyfriend and I went to take a walk that evening. As we walked outside, he took my hand in his and the tension that I felt was released as soon as I felt his fingers lock with mine. Nothing else mattered at that point. I became aware of the breeze brushing my skin and the beautiful colors that the sun setting had painted in the sky. Again, all of my worries faded away and in that moment, there was peace.
I did some research on this and found that scientists have actually found that holding hands has a comforting effect on us. These results can be seen in brain scans of areas of the brain that register emotional and physical harm. Holding hands has a physical effect on our minds that leads us to be more calm.
Often we get caught up in things that we think are so pressing. We allow them to stress us out. We worry. We lose our peace. We don’t think we have time to do things like go for a walk or hold a sleeping baby. But those may be the exact things that we need to do to regain our perspective and our peace.
So, tonight make time to go for a walk with your spouse. Call a friend to meet up for a chat. Spend some time with your kids. Don’t be afraid to take your spouse’s hand as you walk. Put your arm around your friend. Cuddle with your little ones. It may be exactly what you… and they… need to find peace.