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Welcome to 3-2-1 Tuesdays with Better Wellness Naturally- The Healing Power of Connection

Updated: 5 days ago


Thank you for joining us for 3-2-1 Tuesdays!

Quick bits of therapeutic info and learning, ideas, concepts, and quotes.


Brought to you by Better Wellness Naturally


3: Keys

2: Concepts

1: Quick Article


"The deepest healing comes from connecting with others who allow us to be seen, heard, and loved just as we are." - Tara Brach




1. Importance of Social Bonds: Research has consistently shown that strong social bonds are essential for our mental and emotional well-being—yes, even if we identify as Introverts. Studies indicate that individuals with supportive relationships tend to experience lower levels of stress and depression, as well as better overall health outcomes.


2. Community Support: Communities play a crucial role in providing individuals with a sense of belonging and support— and this is actually a “hard wired” or primal need we have as humans (more on this momentarily.) Whether it's through local clubs, religious organizations, or being part of a team sport, having a community to turn to during challenging times can significantly impact one's resilience and ability to cope with stress.


Did you know?  We have Online Support, Mastermind, and Empowered Transitions Groups through Better Wellness Naturally!


3. Effect on Mental Health: And the science! The release of oxytocin and serotonin (the “happy hormone”) during social interactions, for example, have been linked to feelings of trust and bonding.


A Couple of Concepts:
  1. Building Meaningful Relationships: To foster deeper connections with others, it's important to practice active listening and empathy. In our busy world filled with distractions and constant stimuli, the art of active listening often takes a backseat. With the incessant ping of notifications, the pull of social media, and the demands of modern life, it's no wonder many of us struggle to truly engage in empathetic listening.

  2. Learning to Engage: Our innate human tendency is to prioritize our own thoughts and experiences. Do you often find that you are mentally rehearsing your response or waiting for a chance to interject with your own perspective, rather than fully immersing in the emotions and experiences of the person speaking? Most of us do. Taking the time to truly understand and validate the experiences of those around us really can strengthen our relationships and create a sense of mutual trust and respect.

A Quick Overview:  The Neurobiology of Social Connection

In recent years, neuroscience has made significant strides in unraveling the intricate mechanisms underlying the profound impact of social connections on our brains and bodies. Research has shown that social interactions trigger complex neurobiological processes that influence our mood, behavior, and overall well-being. At the forefront of this exploration are neurotransmitters such as oxytocin and serotonin, which play pivotal roles in mediating the effects of social bonding on our mental and emotional states.


Oxytocin, often referred to as the "love hormone," is released in response to social stimuli such as touch, eye contact, and positive social interactions. This neurotransmitter promotes feelings of trust, empathy, and bonding, strengthening social ties and fostering a sense of connection with others. Studies have shown that elevated levels of oxytocin are associated with increased prosocial behavior, reduced stress response, and improved emotional regulation, highlighting its role in promoting social cohesion and well-being.


Similarly, serotonin, known as the "happy hormone," is involved in regulating mood, appetite, and sleep-wake cycles. Social interactions that evoke positive emotions have been found to increase serotonin levels in the brain, leading to feelings of happiness, contentment, and relaxation.


And social isolation can lead to depression due to the intricate interplay between our biology and social environment. From a neurological perspective, humans are indeed hardwired to be social creatures. Evolutionarily, our survival and reproductive success have depended on our ability to form and maintain social bonds.


Thus, when we experience social isolation, our brains perceive it as a threat to our well-being. This triggers stress responses in the body, including the release of cortisol, which can have detrimental effects on our mental health over time.


By understanding the neurobiological basis of social connection, we can better grasp the profound impact that relationships have on our mental health and happiness, emphasizing the significance of nurturing meaningful connections in our lives for fostering emotional well-being and a sense of personal fulfillment.


References:

  1. Holt-Lunstad, J., Smith, T. B., & Layton, J. B. (2010). Social relationships and mortality risk: A meta-analytic review. PLoS Medicine, 7(7), e1000316.

  2. Smith, A. (2020). The Social Brain: Neuroscience of Human Bonds. Harvard University Press.


 

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