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Why We Need to Give and Receive High Fives

Updated: Feb 3

Have you ever wondered about the power and significance of a high five? Check out these two studies:

1.Researchers at Berkeley and Yale did a study on the NBA. They wanted to know if there were any habits that the winning teams had that the losing teams didn't have (in the preseason).

The Findings: During the preseason, the top four teams in the NBA gave more high fives, fist bumps and pats on the back to one another than all other teams.

2. Researchers at the University of Akron were curious about the best way to motivate kids to do something challenging.

The Findings: The single best way to motivate and encourage kids to do something challenging is to give them a high five.

I learned about these interesting facts while listening to a Mel Robbins podcast. There's a good bit of science behind it and I encourage you to listen HERE, but in a nutshell, a high five produces dopamine which plays a role in many important body functions, including movement, memory and pleasurable reward and motivation. High fives build trust, partnership and belief.

Mel even encourages looking into your own eyes (in a mirror) and starting your day by giving yourself a high five. Based on her experience, this simple act will boost your mood, confidence, energy, focus and discipline. It's the non-verbal way of silencing your inner-critic and saying (without saying) "I believe in you!", "You got this!", "You go girl!" Giving yourself a high five fuses emotions of celebration and love into your reflection and physically demonstrates that you believe in yourself.

Call to Action: Give LOTS of high fives to your family members, colleagues, neighbors, grocery checker...everyone! If nothing else, giving a high five will make you and the high receiver smile, as giving a high five without smiling is as impossible as listening to a baby laugh and not laughing out loud. Also, for your daily boost in mood, confidence, energy, focus and discipline, try looking at your reflection and give yourself a high five. Worst case scenario is it will give you the giggles.

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