Some believe we are a disconnected society. We make decisions without thought or concern for the impact of our decisions. We hide behind excuses to justify our actions. We fail to consider the impact our actions have on others. What if people stopped focusing on ‘self’ and instead stopped to consider the other’s point of view? What if we attempted to see things through a different lens?
From a psychological perspective we have a name for the disconnection. Experts believe it’s caused by stress and a lack of connection. The end result is life no longer feels real.
“These are phenomena called depersonalization and derealization, and you may be surprised to learn that it’s actually quite common in psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression.” – Marie Glenmore
Deeper understanding can be found in the physiological responses we have to stress. It’s all about the Cortisol-Oxytocin connection within our little chemical reactions to life.
“Do you feel stressed, tired, lonely and disconnected from your relationships with others and even yourself? Have you walked by people you know and didn’t say hi, not because they annoy you but because you didn’t want to interact? Do you just not have the energy to connect? If you have felt this way and thought that you can will yourself out of it but are struggling, read on. (Especially if you are holding an energy drink in your hand right now!)” Dr. Anna Cabeca The Hormone Reset Diet.
She discusses that it’s not our fault to be labeled by a psychological diagnosis but rather a biological reaction to stress which spikes cortisol levels. These spikes are meant to be a defense mechanism but when pushed to overdrive they simply start to literally ‘shut us down’. Not just physically but also emotionally.
“A perfect example of someone who runs on excess cortisol is a person who takes a vacation and immediately gets a cold. That happens because cortisol was naturally suppressing inflammation and inflammation makes you sick. Take that stress away, cortisol goes down… and boom any underlying inflammation flares up.” – Dr. Sarah Godfried
Now contrast this downward stress cycle with it’s opposite counterpart Oxytocin.
Oxytocin is the most powerful hormone when it comes to love, bonds and connections. It’s released during childbirth and flows through us the first time we look into our child’s eyes. It is also released in abundance with orgasm, laughter, play, hugging and giving. It’s the antidote to aging, misery, depression and a host of other psychological labels.
We can create higher levels of Oxytocin by changing our thoughts. When we believe in our thinking someone is ‘doing something to us’ our body does not realize the difference between a thought and an actual event action. Consider that for a moment.
If we believe we are stepping on a snake our body responds as though we are stepping on a snake. What if we look down and realize it’s a rope? Our chemical reaction was based on our belief there was a snake, not the reality there was just a rope!
This is why people with negative thoughts are more stressed, more tired and more depressed. One powerful way to change our thinking is to reconsider what someone is doing. Instead of holding the belief “they are doing this to me” flip that thought to “how can I be of service”.
When someone calls me in high distress and needs something urgently I have a choice on how I react. I can react all over them, accuse them of being selfish, of putting more pressure on me, of making me do more work or whatever negative belief system I pick that day.
Alternatively, I can stop to consider where their stress is coming from. Are they feeling pressure themselves? Maybe they are at their breaking point or maximum cortisol stress level.
When we stop to consider their position, we develop empathy, we begin to see a bigger picture and may be able to bring people together. Most importantly, we can learn to take a stressful situation and use it as an opportunity to build connection with someone else.
By simply being willing to change my thoughts I’m actually lowering my cortisol levels and increasing my oxytocin levels; those chemicals released during orgasms! What? it’s amazing we are not sitting and thinking joyful thoughts all day!
The challenge is many of us have high levels and we are dealing with people that also have high levels. So when we are maxed out they just put more pressure on us. Or do they? Is it possible we can flip this? Can we consciously choose to meditate when they are irate and go to a “happy thought place” in our minds? What happens if we choose to listen and not personalize the message? Does this free us up to consider solutions rather than be rattled by their reaction? What if we begin to be known as the calming force in their life? What if they start to think of us as the person they want to be in the trenches with?
Choosing to see their point of view, to remain neutral, to focus our energy on solutions and to flip our negative thoughts we can spike our Oxytocin levels instead of our Cortisol levels and build a more
joyful orgasmic state in our lives.