The Power Of Connection

The Power Of Connection

The Power Of Connection

You Were Built To Bond

So many of us, around this time of year, are working on achieving important personal goals. Many times, our hopes are to rid ourselves of bad habits, unhealthy attachments, and to cultivate positive, energizing new practices, relationships, and lifestyle changes. All to the good… but, as you know if you’ve ever tried, easier said than done.

People can get very upset with themselves when they “fail” to quickly and easily break their bonds to unhelpful behaviors and habits. They shame themselves, feel bad about themselves and can start to feel very discouraged. This is not only not helpful, it’s also based on entirely incorrect assumptions: That making a decision to change, to stop doing something, or start doing another should easily and effortlessly lead to change itself.

Not. True.

One of the key ideas that can completely transform the way you think about changing anything is to consider unhelpful habits or non-ideal practices as things that are currently serving an important purpose in your life — whether you like it or not. Everything we do is, on some level, in service of our core needs.

For example, You have legitimate needs for comfort, for safety, for soothing, and for connection. If you have a bad habit that you’re finding hard to shake, it’s very likely that habit is fulfilling a basic need. Understanding that everything, even behaviors and habits that seem on the surface to be unhelpful or even unhealthy are serving an important purpose for you can open the door to a new, compassionate way of understanding why you do what you do… as well as point the way towards a different, more effective path of growth and change.

Consider this idea: What emerging research into neuroscience is pointing to is the fact that human beings are hardwired to BOND. Ideally, we bond to healthy people and have satisfying relationships. But we can also bond to other things, like gratifying behaviors, substances of abuse, and unhealthy relationships. Your brain is actually built that way! It can be diabolically easy to become bonded to something that’s basically a placeholder for what you really need: safety, security, soothing, love, and connection. (Looking at you, emotional eating!)

By understanding your authentic, deep needs for comfort, emotional safety and connection, you can begin to release unhelpful bonds to behaviors that — while they may meet your needs — are doing so in a “non ideal way.” From this place of enlightenment, self-awareness, and empowerment you can then intentionally create healthy new bonds to things, behaviors and people who energize and nourish you.

The Power of Connection

A leading expert in these new ideas is Jennifer Nicholaisen. Jennifer is the executive director of an addiction treatment center called Seek Healing. She and her colleagues view these emerging ideas about human connection, the power of bonding, and the basic need for emotional safety as THE healing force behind substance abuse recovery. They view the process of addiction recovery as one of breaking unhealthy old bonds (to substances), and establishing healthy new ones to emotionally safe people. Participants in her compassionate program learn how to create healthy connections with other people — connections that feel so powerful that their previous bonds to substances are able to be released.

It’s powerful stuff. And today, Jennifer is with me on the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast to share her insights with YOU about how you, too, can intentionally cultivate healthy bonds and use the power of connection to create healing and health in your own life.

I hope you listen to this very special episode, and that it provides you with a helpful new perspective for understanding yourself and others.

All the best,

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

 

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Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

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It’s always the right time to make positive changes in your life. When I think about the times I’ve felt most inspired to make changes was when I was sick of my current behavior. I tell my life coaching clients often that the pain of staying the same has to outweigh the pain of change. So why is it so hard to begin the process and stay the course? We lack inspiration and healthy habits that keep us focused and seeing results. Here are four tips that you can incorporate into your daily routine to keep you moving forward.

Take Daily Time To Dream 

Take 5 minutes per day, say 3 times per week to start. Just journal or allow yourself to let your mind wander to bigger things. What does it feel like to step off the plane and see that destination you’ve been wanting to visit your whole life? See yourself in the mirror with that amazing dress you saw last week. Do you picture a board room with all faces fixed on you as you deliver a kick-ass presentation? Whatever it is, picture every detail using all 5 senses. Your brain can’t differentiate if it’s your imagination or if it is actually happening. That means you can enjoy all the pleasure hormones running through your system without having to do anything but dream. 

Remove Barriers

If you’re anything like me, you have a long to-do list always breathing down your neck. I am an expert procrastinator and I will wait to do something until I absolutely have to. This drains so much mental energy. It’s there, you know it is, and you’re not doing anything about it. Write down all the things rolling through you mind that have to get done and start with the easiest, less complicated thing first. I love checking things off my list. It helps me feel like I’m making progress. You get your power back when you start accomplishing small tasks that usually steal your joy, energy, and present mindedness. 

Set Daily Intentions

I took on this new discipline and I LOVE it! I get out my journal for 2 minutes at the beginning of the day and write “I’m intending to do ___ today”. I then list out all the things I want to accomplish that day. It may be as simple as drinking 4 bottles of water or putting together an outline for a book. I write things on there that I know I can do (easy) and one or two more challenging items to push me forward. 

Empowerment Journal

At the end of the night, I write myself a love letter. I know, cheesy, but it works! I tell myself how much I accomplished, and the things I did that I’m proud of. I write about being inspired and my focus, as well as the moments that I loved about the day. Many of us need verbal affirmation of the things we do, and we often hardly get it. You can do this for yourself and it will change you to your core. There is nothing more inspiring than being your own cheerleader. You’ll then feel more inspired to cheer others on instead of focusing on what others are doing that you’re not or have that you don’t. 

Nothing changes unless you change the things you do daily. Do you have a daily practice that keeps you focused and intentional? Share it with us in the comments section! 

Kindly,
Sonya Jensen M.A., LMFT

Sonya Jensen, M.A., LMFT is a kind, effective marriage counselor, couples therapist, premarital counselor, dating coach, life coach, and breakup counselor, who is devoted to helping you create the life and love you want.

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