Quick Skip #2: Love is Patient, Love is Kind, Love is…Healthy?

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Look, skip: if you’re not saying your I-love-yous today, you could be doing your family some damage. And not just the kind you know about. Of course your wife and kids need to know you love ’em; it helps establish the home as a safe place, lets ’em understand how life’s supposed to function, gives a proper view of the world, big stuff. But did you know that speaking with affection can have health benefits for the speaker and the hearer? It’s science.

According to the National Communication Association, the more signs of affection you get from your loved ones, the lower your stress levels. And stress can lead to a bevy of nasty health conditions, from depression to high cholesterol to heart disease.

And the more signs you give, the more signs you get. Maybe correlation isn’t causation; maybe they haven’t proved it. So what? Maybe, in this instance, it is. Are you going to wait for researchers to finish their surveys before you pop a smooch on your little rascal’s head? Didn’t think so. Hold that hand, skipper. Your family member’s lives could depend on it!