Coronavirus: Why We Touch our Face and How To Stop Doing It
March 24, 2020
You've heard it once or twice this week; stop touching your face. It's shouted at us from every web page and every message board. The TV says it, and health officials have been talking about the need for minimal hand to face contact for the better part of this month.
But it just looks like a terribly difficult thing to do. How does one stop touching their face? Is it even possible?
In California, a health official who had just, moments ago, warned people to avoid touching their faces, actually licked her finger. So, to a large extent, it isn't about our conscious decisions. Rather, it is about drilling the message into our subconscious selves.
But before we can do that, we must first answer some basic questions. First, why do we touch our faces so much?
There are a lot of reasons why humans think it's cool to touch their faces. The first reason is that we feel an itch. If you feel an itch, you're going to want to scratch, and how can you scratch your face if you don't touch your face?
But that isn't the only reason. It seems that we also touch our faces a lot more when we're anxious, or when we have to concentrate on something. In fact, there are researchers that say that touching our faces shows other people that we're self-aware. That touching of our face may even be some sort of socially evolved trait. There are even some that say that we touch our faces so often because it's a trait that we took when we evolved. In fact, seeing that monkeys, apes, and gorillas tend to groom themselves by touching their faces, it's easy to see why researchers came to this conclusion.
So, in conclusion, we don't know for sure why we touch our faces so much. It's probably a combination of so many factors that it's difficult to determine which factor Is the most important.
But there are three main triggers that make us touch our faces.
The first trigger is concentration. When people are concentrating or trying to concentrate, it's very common for them to touch their faces. Another trigger is anxiety. When people are anxious, it's more common for them to touch their faces. The third trigger, of course, is when their faces are itching or they feel the need to adjust something they are wearing. It could be makeup or sunglasses, but when people need their faces to look a kind of way, they touch it.
So How Do We Actually Stop Touching Our Faces
The thing with habits is that they are difficult to break. We don't realize when we're doing then, and when we do, it's often too late. A study even suggests that we touch our faces about twenty times every hour.
Oh, I know what you must be thinking. You're probably thinking that you don't touch your face that much. But you probably think that because most times when you touch your face you're not thinking of the action. It's borne out of your subconsciousness, so it's difficult to know when you're actually doing it.
In fact, when you start thinking of not touching your face, it's possible that you start touching your face more. But if you did that, you'd be going around the task the wrong way. The trick to not touching your face is to become aware of the reasons why you touch your face so much. If you lessen the occurrence of those triggers, you'll find that incidents of you touching your face just start reducing naturally.
So instead of thinking, well, today I'm not going to touch my face, you can do something more effective. You can take more cognizance of your environment and understand when you're more likely to touch your face. With that knowledge, you can find it easier to reduce hand to face contact.
Spinners, Stress Balls, And Weird Social Media Information
A lot of people say that things like stress balls and fidget spinners make it easier for you to avoid touching your face. Some go a few steps further and say that it's easier to avoid touching your face by using an app that tracks the movement of your hands.
While all these are exciting, it's most likely that they won't work. A stress ball won't stop you from touching your face, and a fidget spinner will most likely make you look like a petulant adult rather than stop you from touching your face.
But do you know what would actually work? Washing your hands and sterilizing places and things that your hand comes in contact with like your desks, pens and phone. That way, when and if you actually touch your face, the chances of it carrying harmful bacteria or viruses are actually low. One of the best ways to make sure that things your hands regularly get in contact with stay virus-free is by making use of a workplace that sterilizes items that you use. A good example of this is the MonitorStand Workstation from Flexispot. The desk sterilizes your work area, and makes sure it is virus/bacteria/germ free. If you combine products like this with washing your hands often, you can avoid a lot of danger and save a lot of lives.