Caring Connections

Caring ConnectionsLove and support mitigate a lot of the negative effect of stress. A loving family, friends, community of practice have profound healing effects on the body. Finding a support group when dealing with loss through a bereavement group or finding a support group for caregivers, for example caregivers of relatives with dementia or finding a support group for patients suffering from serious illnesses such as cancer or multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease can be very helpful both emotionally and can even slow down disease progression. In addition, strong social connections keep our minds healthier and help prevent dementia ( in addition to exercise and healthy diet).

In addition to receiving care and love, giving care and love is also very healing. For example, volunteering, doing random or nonrandom acts of kindness can also make us feel better, improve depression, and even improve our general health. For although there is research that posits 50% of people's level of happiness is genetically determined, as mentioned in this article by Harvard Medicine, there is still 40% left that is within your control (the remaining 10% is up to circumstance). Volunteering, has been shown to improve not only mental health but also physical health. According to a 2020 study conducted over 4 years, people who volunteered more than 100 hours a year were found to have “reduced risk of mortality and physical functioning limitations, higher physical activity, and better psychosocial outcomes (higher: positive affect, optimism, purpose in life; lower: depressive symptoms, hopelessness, loneliness, infrequent contact with friends)”

Cultivating gratitude every day, which means feeling and experiencing the good things in our lives , tiny things like not having a tooth ache, seeing and hearing, appreciating a smile ( side by side to feeling grief and sadness which are part of life as well ), is a crucial practice to develop  inner peace, happiness and a sense of awe that is healing as well.

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