One of the most common brainwave profiles I’ve seen with clients over the years are related to anxiety. This is often correlated with very fast frequencies (high beta). (see video below)
A neurochemical that I think is not talked about enough but that actually has ‘anxiolytic’ (lowers anxiety) and anti-stress effects is Oxytocin. Oxytocin is based on bonding and affiliation. It is part of a biobehavioral synchrony mechanism that helps us attune to another person. It makes up parent-child, friendship and romantic bonds.
Oxytocin is actually also connected with the dopamine-reward system. The better we get at connecting with others, the more rewarding human connections in general become.
This system is enhanced when we engage in touch, eye gaze and using our voice - all things that are most powerful when we can be in person. This is why it’s so important for us to find ways to connect in real-time with people. We need more places to gather, shake hands, make eye contact, talk face-to-face. Having more time with kids lately and seeing the research on this has also made me realize how urgently we must acknowledge the importance of the bonding and affiliation system within families.
The research is clear that mental health issues in the long-term have very strong connections to what happens when this system is disrupted. When attunement and synchrony are not there, it impairs the circuits involved in stress regulation, empathy for others’ distress, perspective taking, leadership, ability to resolve conflicts, ability to decipher subtle social cues, plus many more issues (which I’ll likely go into in the next podcast episode) What we are seeing unfolding in society today is interwoven with the lack of attunement and biobehavioral synchrony of the mammalian-affection and bonding system.
More to come on this topic. I think that social media and technology are disrupting these systems. It’s part of Chapter 5 of my book I'm currently writing so thought I would send a short preview!
I have another book deadline soon so will likely not post until next week - so have a great week and weekend!
With Love from Me to You
Looking forward to more wilderness first response training coming soon… Getting this training has felt like it opens up new possibilities for me in terms of the types of trainings, travel and adventures that align with future plans for lifestyle and community-building. Being around children lately has also reminded me once again of how important it is for me to be around them, which is also part of the future vision. Montana is still my plan for 2023, and we’ll see what opens up from there. Although I still have things to work out here and in terms of living situation, I’m keeping my sights on the dream I’ve had for so long. No matter what hills there are to climb along the way, that’s what will make it even more special to me. In the end, I just really just want people to be ok... in some ways, it almost doesn't matter how I do my part in helping with that - that's my true north star. So grateful to the people who I’ve crossed paths with over the past while, who have inspired me to try all these new things. My life has forever changed for the better because of them.
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