It happened on a Thursday night. I was lying in bed watching my 12th consecutive episode of Schitt’s Creek when I felt a hand, a familiar hand, cupping my left boob. ’Twas my own hand. Ah yes, ye olde self-breast cuddle.
I mentioned it on my Insta Stories (I am but a humble servant to shameless TMI), and the internet basically said, “Same.” One person wrote that the hand-to-boob position made her feel as cozy as a squirrel with its paws on its chest. Aw. Another told me she holds hers because “they’re warm and squishy and nice.”
Yes to the warm and squishy and nice thing, but allow me to get technical for a second (yes, I researched it): When hand meets boob, it stimulates nerves that trigger the brain’s pituitary gland to release oxytocin, a feel-good hormone associated with snuggling and such, clinical psychologist Meghan Jablonski, PhD, told me. It’s the level of relaxation and comfort associated with, say, a fat glass of wine and an even fatter lapdog.
Okay, but it still seems weird that our digits are naturally drawn to our breasts? Not so, says body-language expert Blanca Cobb. First and most obviously, boobs are easily accessible to our hands. And when we’re relaxed, our fingers and palms are slightly curved. Which means: A relaxed hand = a perfect boob nest. Our chest is also where we hold a lot of stress, says Cobb. Spooning the ornaments located in this feels-packed area helps us settle in and let that shit go. We’re literally…getting things off our chests. Heh.
So basically, boob holding is a magnificent, stress-fighting superpower. Squeeze away. No one’s judging.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.