Hello again everyone,
Now a little bird has told me that the weather is going to heat up again this week, so by the time you receive this post, we may all be basking in warm sunshine once more. Remember to apply that sun cream and take regular drinks of water to keep yourself hydrated and on top form.
This week’s message focusses on the power of hand holding. The importance of relationships and the love that we share for one another continues to be our top priority and I’ve noticed at home, or when I’m on a walk with my family, that my children are very much into hand holding. They like to make that connection with one another and their parents. Normally I don’t really notice it and just take it as a given but during one of my ‘snail’s pace’ moments, which I promised myself after last week’s message, I started to realise what a wonderful expression of love and security, the holding of a hand can be. It appears to signify that that person really loves you and feels totally safe and secure in your company. Then I started to notice the size of my hand in relation to my children’s and the way in which our hands and fingers wrapped around one another. Also, I regarded the different styles of hand holding, some with fingers intertwined, others with whole hand grips, and one particular family member preferring to grip two of my forefingers with their whole hand.
So why is hand holding so soothing and reassuring? What is actually happening in the body and mind because of this close contact?
Firstly, holding hands decreases cortisol (which is a stress hormone) by making the other person feel content and connected. It sends signals to the person’s brain that they are safe and in good hands. This is especially true when you are holding the hand of someone you love. Because the hands and fingers contain the most nerve endings in our bodies, holding hands can really help make you feel more at ease.
Secondly, holding hands increases oxytocin. This is the hormone responsible for producing empathic responses and prompting better communication. Holding hands not only develops a bond between people, it also helps them feel more confident, loved and happier in themselves.
In scientific terms, hand holding is called the grasp reflex and we use it from the moment we are born. Amazing!
Did you know that the word hand appears 1466 times in the Bible and the plural word hands appears 462 times.
Jesus used his hands to heal people, create pictures in the sand, he held children’s and adult’s hands to reassure and comfort them and sadly his hands were pierced at the conclusion to his earthly life.
Do you remember the children’s song that the lovely Rev. Jill Bentall once taught us in ‘Worship’ about Jesus’ hands? Here are the lyrics:
Jesus' hands were kind hands, doing good to all, healing pain and sickness, blessing children small, washing tired feet and saving those who fall; Jesus' hands were kind hands, doing good to all. Take my hands, Lord Jesus, let them work for you; make them strong and gentle, kind in all I do; let me watch you, Jesus, till I'm gentle too, till my hands are kind hands, quick to work for you.
This week’s Loving Challenge:
Can you capture a moment or image of you holding hands with someone you love? Look at the examples I have shared and feel free to use these if you wish.
You could share a drawing or sketch, a photograph, a poem about holding hands, a song, provide examples of different hand holding styles or write a diary entry of a hand holding walk or adventure you’ve been on.
Please feel free to share any of these examples because I will create a display in school based on this particular challenge, outside of my office.
Take care and see you again next week.
Another good way of using our hands.
EYFS/KS1 Thrive Activities – Week 14
Helpful web links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7i0tUVNHfLA
KS2 Thrive Activities – Week 14
Useful web links: https://www.british-sign.co.uk/fingerspelling-alphabet-charts/