Calming your heart in a time of health concerns can help boost your immune system. Every time you wash your hands, you also can feel your feet connected to the earth. Grounding like this helps calm the heart and the nervous system. Or, every time you keep 6 feet distant from other people when in public, you can still nod your head, or look into their eyes. Staying connected in safe ways like this also helps calm your heart.
These suggestions may seem small, but they complement government and medical recommendations for safety. If you are at home – working, caring for family members or yourself – take time to bring the richness of relationships into your awareness through-out the day. Perhaps you are seeing colleagues, friends or family online, or are talking with people on the phone.Take their “presence” into your heart. Breathe deeply and know that you can remain connected even when you are apart. Your heart will thank you.
Remaining safely connected is calming, even on a physiological level. Cortisol, a stress hormone, decreases with caring connection while oxytocin, an attachment hormone, increases. As mammals, we know that we need each other for survival. We grew as a species because we could depend on each other. Caring touch is essential for babies and children to thrive; adults need that too.
How, you may ask, do I keep in touch while maintaining social distance? That’s the question! Fortunately, we now have ways to stay “in touch” with our loved ones through social media, texting or selfies. You may have family members at home with you. You also can draw on the reservoir of memory. Use what you can to stay safely connected with others and with yourself.
During this time, you also may want additional help, or know someone who does, I am now “seeing” clients online for both somatic psychotherapy and clinical hypnosis. Contact me if you need more help, or feel free to pass my name along if you know of someone who can benefit.