Obsessed With Touching Your Face? Here's How to Stop
We are obsessed with touching our faces.
And the outbreak of COVID-19 highlights that.
The truth is, not touching your face is much harder than it sounds!
During a coronavirus press conference, even the director of a California county health department licked her finger before flipping a page in her notes — just moments after explaining why you shouldn't touch your face…
Many studies show that the average person touches their face 16 to 23 times every. single. hour.
Even medical professionals were found to touch their faces 19 times an hour while working with patients!
All that face touching leaves a whole lot of opportunity for this virus to spread…
Your eyes and mouth are the most vulnerable places for viruses to get into your body — wiping your mouth, scratching an itchy nose, rubbing tired eyes, or adjusting your glasses is all it takes.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Dawn Mueni Becker explains:
Viruses that affect the respiratory system enter the body through mucosal membranes which are found in the nose, oral cavity, and lips. With poor hand hygiene, it's easy to acquire a viral infection this way.
The question is… how can you stop touching your face so much?
It all starts at home… When you repeatedly touch your face while you're in the comfort of your own home, you are far more likely to touch your face while out and about.
This is a huge problem when your hands are in contact with shopping carts, gas pumps, and ATM pin pads.
Try to stay mindful of your hands. If you notice that you're reaching for your face out of habit, stop yourself immediately.
Dr. Alex Dimitriu explained in a Healthline interview:
When actively working, people will often shake their foot, play with their hair, or in these instances, touch their faces. It certainly helps to know when you are most vulnerable to such activities and try to stay aware, during the meeting, or phone call, or while engrossed in work.
Unfortunately, you aren't always aware of when you touch your face…
Writing yourself reminders on sticky notes not to touch your face could help keep you more aware of face touching while in the office or at home.
Holding something in your hands — like a clean tissue, smartphone, or set of keys — will help boost your awareness and serve as an obstacle for face touching.
Any new accessories, like a ring, watch, or bracelet, can help draw your attention to your hands.
Strong-scented hand sanitizers work particularly well for those who do a lot of nail-biting and nose scratching.
If you don't need to use your hands, put them in your pockets, or interlace them.
If all else fails, try wearing gloves. Gloves not only provide a barrier between your skin and viruses, but they can also make you more aware of touching your face.
Though these tips can help you cut back on face touching, chances are, they won't eliminate it.
Sometimes, you'll have to rely on your immune system to fight off harmful microbes…
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To your health,
President, Longevity Insider HQ
P.S. I had a one-on-one chat with our chief medical advisor, Dr. Anil Bajnath. And he shared this free tip with me: Back in the day, folks would put hot pepper sauce on their children's hands to prevent face-touching habits — like sucking their thumb or digging their nose. In today's times, that same method can help keep our hands off of our faces, too!