Physical touch is a natural part of human existence that has benefits both our mental and physical health. Yahoo Life Mental Health Contributor Jen Hartstein says it's important to find safe ways to increase touch in our lives. “When we are deprived of physical contact for extended periods of time - as many of us have been during pandemic - we might be what's called ‘touch starved’,” Harstein says. “When this happens, we might notice an increase in depression, anxiety, isolation, withdrawal, increased stress levels for ourselves.” The impact of touch starvation could be amplified at this time due to the fact that stress, anxiety and fear are already at a heightened state. “The world around us is stressed and anxious, and now take away something that is very self soothing, like touch, and it amplifies the negative emotions we might be experiencing," Hartstein explains. “Togetherness is really important, and although we might not be able to touch each other, being connected in whatever way possible can counteract some of the negative side effects of lack of touch."