We’ve all experienced it: feeling left out, rejected, or simply, lonely.
Well, research has found that rejection activates the same brain areas as physical pain. Their results give new meaning to the idea that social rejection literally hurts.
I always ask my patients about their support network – do they feel they have one at all? How strong or healthy is it? Do they have people they can open up to, and be vulnerable with? Who champions them when times get tough?
I ask this because having community is an antidote to stress.
Connection is well-being. It’s medicine for the body & soul. As humans, we are WIRED for it (literally – in our brains). It means (and feels like) safety.
For our ancestors, being on the outside of the ‘tribe’ meant certain death.
There’s so much talk these days (which is awesome) about regulating our nervous systems. ‘Stress is the #1 cause of disease’ as they say (this isn’t wishy-washy, this is due to the physiological repercussions on our bodies from chronic stress). Emotional stress is a major player in the top 6 leading causes of death in North America. It’s also a big contributor to anxiety, chronic fatigue, digestive issues, menstrual issues, skin issues, trouble controlling your weight, trouble sleeping, headaches, and so much more.
So – what can we do about it?! Cultivate community!
I read an article recently (actually it started by going viral on Tik Tok – take a listen here, you don’t need an account) by an ex-pat living in the USA. She’s a mom, originally from Spain, discussing how depressing and lonely parenthood is in North America.
In Spain, community is easily cultivated and is a priority for people there. Honestly, if you’re a Mom (or Dad), you gotta go listen to her.
Our society has taken independence so far that many of us no longer live in natural, almost effortless communities. We have to put in WORK to build and maintain community in ways past generations may not have.
I want you to know that the effort to be in community with others is worth it!
In fact, it’s critical to our health & well-being.
Did you catch my article on the health impacts of loneliness? Did you know that loneliness may be a bigger risk factor for your health than smoking or obesity?
I hope today’s email inspires you to prioritize your connections this week (and into the future).
Conversations create community so can YOU do me a favour? Hit reply and let me know if there’s a topic you’re super interested in learning about. Or let me know if you’re struggling to find a community of like-minded women. I may have a solution for you 😉
- Dr. Willow
I help women achieve optimal digestive and hormonal wellness through a root cause, individualized approach to medicine that utilizes functional lab testing, diet and lifestyle modification, nutritional and herbal medicine, and acupuncture to re-establish lasting health.
The Wild Collective: my women's ♀️ group health program
Gut health program coming soon, stay tuned 👀!
Between my wait listed practice, building my Wild Collective communities, and being Mom, I don't email often, but I'm working behind the scenes to bring you major value and I'd love to be able to tell you about it when it is ready (along with some more personal shares).