A Mindfulness Exercise: How Many Times Do You Touch Your Face?

If you’re like me, you’ve discovered how unmindful you are about touching your face. All the health care professionals tell us NOT to do it. It turns out that I do it all the time.

I’m not alone. A 2015 study in the American Journal of Infection Control found that people touch their faces more than 20 times an hour on average. That involving touching their eyes, noses or mouth about 44 percent of the time.

Of course, our hands are constantly touching contaminated surfaces. The goal is to stop our hands from getting the pathogens into the body through our mucous membranes (in other words, the eyes, nose and mouth) that give them a clear shot into our throats and lungs.

What we are most worried about is the coronavirus, of course. So it’s a great time to be mindful about our hands and our face. This is hard, because so much is unconscious. Scientists suggest that we make it harder by wearing gloves, but that’s really not a real-world solution at this time with the lack of gloves and the reality that we are at home.

So take some time to be more aware of your hands. Thank God for them and pray for support in using them more consciously. When you do find yourself touching your face, count it. The rising total for the day can make you more conscious as well.

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