A Feel Good Natural Cure For Anxiety, Stress, And Depression

Making deep emotional connections with family and friends reduces stress, creates happiness, and can actually keep you healthier. In other words, love heals. There is a physical part of the brain that runs your emotions. This part of your brain is called the limbic brain. The development of this part of the brain can be traced back to a hundred million years ago. If you had an MRI, you can actually see it. For every moment you are with someone, your limbic brain is tuning them in, being changed by their moods, as well as changing theirs too. It is a constant life-affirming limbic dance.

For decades, experimental psychologists have known that we all share moods. For example, some people can make you feel better by simply walking into the room you are in. Directly or unconsciously, these sorts of interactions (mood sharing) feel very good. Without them, we would wither away. This is why you should never rate too low the emotional side of your life.

It is a known fact that women are better than men when it comes to keeping the "limbic dance" going. Women work very hard to ensure that their families stay connected throughout the years and build lasting friendships and deep connections from different aspects of their lives. Friends from work, college, neighborhood associations, and child rearing do fall apart from the natural way of growing and changing, but most women can, and do, find new friendships to replace the old ones that are lost.

If a woman, or even a man, find that they don't have close friendships or just plain have a hard time making connections, it is extremely important that they work hard at learning new ways of making friends and connections. There have been hundreds of studies done that prove isolation hurts us and connections heal us. The actual physical way that it works to heal us is, in fact, the exact same way that exercise and a healthy diet heals us. We can now say that isolation causes stress while being connected is healthy. Actual stress hormone blood profiles are measurably healthier than those of isolated people.

A study of more than 4,000 women and men in California, showed a link between the size of one's social circle and survival. Larger social circles have larger longevity. Women with fewer than 6 regular contacts outside of the house had a much higher risk of blocked coronary arteries, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression. They were also 2.5 times more likely to die over the course of the study than those with a wider social network. Also, having either a good marriage or at least one close friend cuts the risk of mortality by a third and the benefit increases the larger your social circle gets.

Optimism is a wonderful limbic resource and is available to anyone because it is a learned skill. Women who are optimistic about motherhood before pregnancy have a lower risk of postpartum depression. Optimistic women have a much lower mortality rate from cancer and heart disease. In fact, it has been shown that it helps tremendously to approach any illness with a positive and optimistic attitude. Along with improved immune function, being optimistic can even lower one's blood pressure. On the flip side, however, being angry can literally double your risk of having heart disease. Did you know that just by perceiving your work as satisfying, you can cut the risk of heart disease in half?

There are other pathways to connectedness too, such as spirituality. Some well-conducted studies on spirituality point to its importance in everyone's life for mental and physical health. People who search for meaning in their lives, or have a religion, or just have some type of spirituality, can and do survive loss, cancer, and also have a much healthier immune chemistry. People who report that their faith is an important part of their lives have higher levels of life satisfaction and emotional well being.

Every human craves limbic connections. We just need to simply head outside and build them.

Source: Ladies Home Journal

Photo: Pixabay

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