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Anxiety and connection

We live in a world where it is increasingly difficult to feel connected, connected to other people, to nature, to our work, to our reality, to ourselves even. And we feel increasingly anxious. Anxiety before a big date or a final exam is one thing, but chronic anxiety is often a symptom of a prevalent, serious and persistent health problem. It can affect our behaviour, thoughts, feelings and even our physical sensations, and it often works as a feedback loop further amplifying the anxiety and therefore the disconnection we feel. It is estimated that up to 10-20 per cent of people experience some kind of anxiety disorder. I have had my own personal experience with an extreme social anxiety, and at its worst I felt utterly disconnected from other people. They went together I found, anxiety and isolation.

The human being is essentially a social animal, we belong to families, groups, communities, and this means we need to communicate to belong. Communication is not about grunts of approval or dislike, or posting a Facebook comment, it involves a complex understanding of metaphor, symbology, and meaning on many levels. When we interact, we communicate more than just the words we speak. Anxiety can arise when communication is not helping us feel more connected.

Asking the following questions can be the catalyst for resolution if our anxiety is due to a communication disconnect. And have heart, there are definitely solutions for anxiety, and for improving communication.

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Questions about communication and connection

When you spend time with someone, do you feel lonely?

When you are with another person, do you feel more energetic or less?

Do you sense the other person finds you boring and would rather be somewhere else?

Do you feel like your attention goes past the person rather than to the person you are speaking with?

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When communicating, do you ask questions? When you ask questions, does the other person respect your questions and answer them without judgment?

Are you truly interested in the person you are communicating with?

Do you have enthusiasm in the topics you are discussing?

Are you comfortable showing your enthusiasm and your interest in the other person?

***

Can you listen to what they have to say for a long period of time?

Do you interrupt with assumptions instead of hearing the other person speak?

Do you cut the flow of communication by interrupting or proceeding to talk about yourself?

Does the flow of communication stop with uncomfortable silences?

Do you have a desire to talk about yourself but then don’t see the same desire in others?

***

Does your childhood story affect your present moment?

Could the person in front of you be replaced by anyone else without you noticing?

Are you just repeating facts you have heard?

Are you saying meaningless things just to say something?

***

Do you feel the other person is your equal and that you can be yourself with them?

Do you feel there is a special, distinct interaction between you and the other?

Are you trying to create a special relationship, even though temporary, between you and the other?

Are you finding meaningful interactions regularly each and every day, in all places?

Do you crave such meaningful interactions?

Are you being honest, sharing real stories about yourself with the other person?

Can you tell them your own opinions, feelings, reflections honestly?

Could you say that you want to be communicating with the person in front of you?

***

Are you trusting that a community can heal and help you?

Are you willing to be part of that community?

Some of these questions are difficult to ask, and certainly taking the time to reflect on our experience relating to the questions is a valuable exercise. Try to embrace the discomfort, it is where the magic happens!

Solutions for anxiety and communication

So what can be done. There are many articles on the reasons for increasing anxiety suggesting cell phones, changing times, less social interaction, more xenophobia, more judgment and bias, even the law of attraction can be considered as a reason. However, I think the fundamental reason lies in how healthy we are and what tools we have when it comes to communication. So trying to be more tolerant, wanting to attract positivity to ourselves, are all actions that, without a fundamental depth or capacity, are no different than weight lifting in our mind and hoping our muscles get bigger.

I would suggest investing in your health as a holistic experience, looking at all sides of who and what you are. Health can be breathing deeper, it can be eating less chocolate, it can be taking an extra moment before speaking, it is our challenge to learn what is healthier and what is not. And to know that we may well see a healthy choice before us but can’t for the life of us make it so. That is when you may need to engage outside help. Make the investment, it is worth it.

Intuitively I believe we know what can make us healthy again. Seek out practitioners who follow the understanding of individualized medicine and who trust in the person’s own ability to heal. Anxiety improves when our health improves. I gleaned this quote from the book Medicine of the Gnostic by Abdul-Wali, Salik ages ago,

“When the lion is sick, he eats of a certain shrub and cures himself. He does this because the illness has an affinity for a certain plant, for the essence of it. The cure is always known to the disease. Release this knowledge and you will know more than the doctor who can only recall facts and memories which seem to apply. There is a difference between hopeful assumptions and positive knowledge. And every case of sickness is slightly different.”

As for tools, learning to communicate is a skill just as math or the culinary arts is. It is best not to leave it to chance, or to your tribe’s capacities or lack thereof. Study up on Non-Violent Communication, and on David Bohm’s Dialogue methods. These two tools are going to bring a more holistic dimension to your connection by communication. Ted Talks is an amazing resource for how to connect to others and challenging our beliefs to stretch our comfort bubble. Practice and cultivate your inner seeds and watch your garden of connection grow.

dialogue and non-violent communication

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How does holistic treatment support healthy living? Why try homeopathy? Having a life long study in the principles of nature and healthy living, Lauren Trimble DHom, Nd is happy to share her knowledge and experience. The art of retuning the body’s natural healing capacity & developing consciousness in a compassionate and gentle way is the gift that homeopathy brings to her current holistic practice. If you enjoyed this article find out more at Birdsong.

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