Our World is Dying for Connection

More Americans are choosing to live alone than ever before. And while it’s healthy to have “down time” by yourself, one study says too much alone time may shorten your life.

Researchers at Brigham Young University studied 3 million people.

They found people who said they were lonely, felt socially isolated or lived alone, had a 30 percent increased likelihood of death.

The study says loneliness and isolation are as damaging as obesity. The impact of loneliness has also been likened to smoking 15 cigarettes a day or excessive drinking. So partner up.

CBS Minnesota

But in the 1970s, a professor of Psychology in Vancouver called Bruce Alexandernoticed something odd about this experiment. The rat is put in the cage all alone. It has nothing to do but take the drugs. What would happen, he wondered, if we tried this differently? So Professor Alexander built Rat Park. It is a lush cage where the rats would have colored balls and the best rat-food and tunnels to scamper down and plenty of friends: everything a rat about town could want. What, Alexander wanted to know, will happen then?

In Rat Park, all the rats obviously tried both water bottles, because they didn’t know what was in them. But what happened next was startling.

The rats with good lives didn’t like the drugged water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats used. None of them died. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did.

[…]

This gives us an insight that goes much deeper than the need to understand addicts. Professor Peter Cohen argues that human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. It’s how we get our satisfaction. If we can’t connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find — the whirr of a roulette wheel or the prick of a syringe. He says we should stop talking about ‘addiction’ altogether, and instead call it ‘bonding.’ A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn’t bond as fully with anything else.

So the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.

HuffPo

Our world is dying for connection.  For real.  You can have nice cars or fancy things but if you don’t have connection with humans then it’s for nothing.  Not connection over typing or texting, but actual human connection.  That’s why we’re all sad even though we’re richer than we’ve ever been.

I’m training to be a coach for relationships and connection.  If you want to know more about this then get a hold of me.

Featured image screenshot from “Sun and Moon” by Above and Beyond

GroupMe Grab #1: How do I feel?

There are so many thoughts that I have about CP and why I am doing it.  Some of the things about CP I post on GroupMe, but they get overtaken by other things and then they are lost in the void forever.  I grabbed one before that happened.  This is my response when someone asked about how I was feeling the night before CP:

I feel like everything in my life is going to change. over the past couple of days I have been thinking about why I signed up for the whole thing.  every time I have been asked, every time i’ve done an inside out about it, the reasons have rarely been the same.  there is some overlap but there are so many things that I want to change about my life.

I’ve never really been good at saying yes to myself. i’ve almost never done it.  without this opportunity and this set of immersions i don’t know if I ever would.  i am halfway inclined to leave my phone on airplane mode each day so that I can’t be pulled away and brought back to my world of deadlines and working for others.

I feel like I am at a unique opportunity where i have the time and the resources to say yes to myself. and I am at the point where I know that I won’t be here forever and I need to change the things about myself that I dislike.  I need to follow my own desires as opposed to the desires of my family, the church or the desires of others.  OneTaste came at the right time for me to start doing that.

I fly to SF for my first Immersion tomorrow.