We are not meant to live alone, rather as a higher-functioning species, we are meant to live in herds and with families. That is how we are genetically designed. When we are deprived of human contact we experience loneliness, which in turns puts us at risk for mental and cognitive health disorders. Mental health issues can lead to physical health disorders. The brain is our main social organ. When we feel lonely, it may be difficult for certain regions of our brain to regulate stress. We generally do not associate loneliness with poor physical health, yet there is a very strong correlation. We also define loneliness differently. While some relish living alone, others do not. Our threshold for loneliness is different, and not measured the same from individual to individual. Loneliness is also measured differently in segments. Middle-aged individuals may not feel the impact of loneliness they way that older adults and teenagers do.
Specifically, what does loneliness and inflammation have to do with one another? Inflammation is the contributory root to cancer, heart disease and and diabetes. Inflammation is responsible for tearing down the body. Loneliness triggers stress signals that alter the function of our immune cells and signaling pathways, which in turn promotes illness. The longer that our bodies produce stress hormones, the more impact there will be on our bodies. The length of time that we are stressed will increase inflammation.
Don’t stress (literally)! The higher our stress and anxiety levels are, the more prone to inflammation we are. There are many things that we can do to reduce the impact that stress has on our bodies. Breathwork is extremely important is regulating our blood pressure. High blood pressure is also contributed to inflammation. Integrating breathwork into our daily routine will help to reduce your stress levels and subsequently inflammation that is caused by stress. Breathwork should be done twice and day, everyday. What is breathwork? It is the practice of intentional breathing to lower your blood pressure. Find a favorite place in your home and office and engage in 3-7-8, 4 times. Breathe in for 3 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds, 4 times. Once in the morning and once at the end of the day. If you are feeling stressed like prior to walking into a meeting at the office, you can engage in breathwork. Unfortunately breathwork is not a magic pill and will take approximately 30 days before the sympathetic nervous system gets the message that it is not going to be producing high levels of cortisol (our stress hormone) the way that it has been.
Cortisol is what is produced when we are in our “fight or flight” mode. It is what enables us to think quickly. Cortisol also can be produced in high-levels and cause inflammation in our bodies. Long-term inflammation is not good for us. Breathwork signals the parasympathetic nervous system to communicate with the sympathetic nervous system that we are “okay”, subsequently reducing our levels of cortisol. Lower levels of cortisol is the intended goal.
Talk therapy or counseling is also beneficial to helping reduce high levels of cortisol. Counselors work with a myriad of theoretical approaches. One theoretical approach is Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and another theoretical approach is Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Both theoretical approaches are helpful with reducing behaviors and negative thought patterns.
Nu Vision Counseling uses both Dialectical Behavior Therapy. and Cognitive Behavior Therapy with our clients. We are highly-trained in both approaches. While some clients benefit greatly from Dialectical Behavior Therapy, others will find that they benefit from Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Your counselor will determine which one they believe will be helpful for your particular situation.
Not all counselors use Dialectical Behavior Therapy or Cognitive Behavior Therapy as they required significant training to implement in their sessions with clients. Some counselors do not use a multitude of approaches with their client and will only use Dialectical Behavior Therapy and/or Cognitive Behavior Therapy. We believe that every client is unique and subsequently do not use a cookie-cutter approach when working with our clients.
Call 772-742-2020 to speak with a counselor today. Our office is located in Vero Beach, Florida. We are currently accepting new clients, and work with adults, children and families. Our psychological services are offered in a warm and friendly environment. We offer a free 15-minute consultation.