Healing through relationships
by Codie Surratt
So today it’s easy for me to pick up my phone and instantly connect via text, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and maybe the occasional phone call (ugg) with pretty much anyone in my contacts list. But when connection becomes completely wired, are we truly benefitting from social interaction? In recent studies conducted by Dr. Daniel Siegel, author of the book Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation, interpersonal neurobiology which is the scientific moniker for true to life personal connection, has been shown to not only increase our levels of serotonin and oxytocin (our happy hormones) but it can actually help to fire neuronal connections. Neuroplasticity is the term used to describe this phenomenon and, my friends, it is amazing. This to me is huge! We need more positive connection. More social interaction with those who love us, who care for us and who make us happy. We need to be challenged mentally and physically, and getting out in nature with a partner, having a lively discussion, playing a board game with friends or simply being around pets, can all help to fire up those neurons. This is pertinent for anyone dealing with a brain injury, of any severity. Having people around that can show love, kindness, respect and quite simply joy, can aid in the process of healing.
Dr. Siegel speaks extensively about neuroplasticity in relation to trauma, brain injuries and any physical or emotional scars that leave us feeling vulnerable. There is still so much to learn about this process, but what the studies speak to is this: when we are in the presence of those that bring us joy we can truly make miracles happen. This is what I believe to be true with my clients who I see in various stages of their healing process, and it is something I practice in my own life. We need to put down the gadgets, unplug and actually plug into life, plug into friendship, to love, to happiness and to joy, no matter where we are on our path to healing and recovery.