Welcome to the Reclaimed Soul!
Whether or not we acknowledge it, we all have a longing for connection. I'm talking about that deep soul kind of connection where you know the other person "gets" you. Curt Thompson, M.D. (Anatomy of the Soul) calls it the power of "feeling felt". It's that feeling you get when the person you're with is actually experiencing the same feelings you are because you've connected on a deeper emotional level.
Turns out this kind of interaction really does transform us. When we connect with another human being this way, new pathways form in our brains and chemicals are released that result in emotions like "happy" and "safe". Advances in technology have offered us a glimpse at the inside working of our brains and the evidence is showing us, not surprisingly, that healthy mental and emotional functioning is contingent upon a certain amount of connectedness with others.
But unfortunately in this hectic, fast-paced, hyper-connected, technological age we live in, we often find ourselves feeling lonely, dissatisfied, restless ... unfulfilled. Living in a constant state of heightened stress levels takes its toll. Seasons of life transition, changes in health, finances, relationships, the loss of a loved one, divorce, kids leaving for college or a combination of life events can take on a compound effect. Sometimes for seemingly no reason at all, life just seems to go from vibrant color to gray. Joy is elusive and you can't quite figure out what happened.
Here's the good news. Research in neuroscience and brain chemistry is revealing that we can, in fact, "re-wire" our brain circuitry. When you tell your story to an empathic listener or engage in a caring community or pay attention to unhealthy thought patterns or the lies you tell yourself and make a conscious choice to tell yourself the truth, you are actually changing the structure and chemistry of your brain! This offers much hope for those who feel stuck in cycles of shame, depression, anxiety and loneliness. And these are precisely the kinds of things we can work on within the context of a counselor-client relationship.
If you have questions or would like to learn more, I would love to hear from you!