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There’s a scientific reason you hold your partner’s hand to express love, or your child’s hand when they’re scared: Because skin-to-skin contact produces the bonding hormone oxytocin. Psychologists at DePauw University say skin contact also causes a calming drop in blood pressure and heart rate in BOTH of you. So, next time you need to feel calmer or happier or think a loved one does, grab their hand and give it a squeeze.

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