Meanings & Benefits of Rubbing Hands Together
Meanings & Benefits of Rubbing Hands Together
Have you ever been anxious or excited and noticed you’re rubbing your hands together? It’s totally normal! People often rub their hands together when they feel excitement because their feelings “leak out” into their bodies in a subconscious attempt to release the ecstatic feelings. Read on to learn more about what it means when people rub their hands together.
Why do people rub their hands?

Body Language Meanings of Hand Rubbing

Excitement is a common emotion associated with hand rubbing. They become excited about a future experience and begin to rub their hands together in anticipation. When you’re excited, you might start breathing faster, and your heart rate speeds up. This can create a jittery feeling. Rubbing your hands together may help use up some of that energy. For example, you might find yourself rubbing your hands together when thinking about attending a concert you’ve been looking forward to. Another example might be that you rub your hands together before taking a bite of your favorite food.

People rub their hands together when they’re stressed. When someone becomes stressed, they may rub their hands together to pacify themselves. The more stressed they become, the faster or harder they rub their hands together. When they become very stressed, they spread and interlace their fingers while rubbing their hands together. A person about to speak in front of a crowd may rub their hands together to deal with stress and anxiety over their performance. When someone’s waiting to hear back about a job offer, they may rub their hands to help release nervous energy.

Someone may rub their hands together when they’re cold. Your hands and feet are the parts of your body that are farthest away from your heart, so it takes blood longer to circulate to keep them warm. Rubbing your hands together creates friction, which makes them feel warmer. The kinetic energy of your hands rubbing together converts to heat energy and warms them up. A person waiting for a bus outside in the winter may stamp their feet and rub their hands together to help them stay warm. Someone may have poor circulation and rub their hands to help encourage blood flow.

Wringing your hands indicates worry or anxiety. When you wring your hands or rub them by twisting and turning them around each other, it can mean you are very worried about something. When a person is worried or anxious about something, they wring their hands to regain a feeling of control over the situation. In some cases, a person may wring their hands as a form of self-restraint. Hand-wringing can help them control negative emotions. A person worrying over the health of a loved one may wring their hands as they wait to hear any news.

Neurodivergent people may rub their hands to self-stimulate. When someone has Autism Spectrum Disorder, they may self-stimulate (or stim) to help regulate their emotions. Rubbing their hands together is one form of tactile stimming (stimming that has to do with touch).

Hand Rubbing in Pop Culture

In cartoons, a villain often performs an evil hand rub. A miserly character, like Scrooge McDuck, may rub their hands over money. A character like Tom the Cat from Tom & Jerry might rub his hands in anticipation of doing something bad to Jerry the Mouse. This behavior connects to the idea that people who are excited about something rub their hands together. These characters are excited about planning or doing something that’s considered bad or wicked. A person may also wring their hands as an indication of guilt, like Lady Macbeth from Macbeth by William Shakespeare.

Benefits of Hand Rubbing

Energy Flow In yoga mudra practice, a type of yoga that uses hand and finger gestures, you begin by rubbing your hands together to heat them up. It’s a way to warm up the hands in preparation for the gestures and bring energy to the practice. There’s some evidence that performing mudras can help enhance immunity when used with traditional medicine. Many believe there are spiritual benefits to adding mudras to their yoga practice, including better focus.

Reiki Healing Many reiki practitioners rub their hands together to build energy at the beginning of a session. Reiki is a type of energy healing that uses gentle touch to help reduce stress and anxiety and promote relaxation. In addition, it can foster healing after injury or surgery, stimulate your immune system, and relieve pain and tension. Studies have found that reiki treatments can promote relaxation and wellness.

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