Not so long ago, humans had no access to mirrors, portraits or photographs; all we had to know ourselves well were the positive bonds and social feedback gained from living closely with each other. As human beings, we have evolved to rely on these strong social bonds, and we simply cannot survive in good emotional shape or health without establishing a connection to others.
Accordingly, throughout human history, people have continued to exchange their stories and histories, and provide healing, touch and a supportive presence for one another. More than any medicine which simply treats an emerging symptom, a deep human connection is actually a preventive health factor, of vital importance to maintaining positive personal wellbeing, and has been linked to emotional resilience, lower rates of preventable disease and improved longevity. In places where people have strong feelings of community, they also have better feelings of identity, self-worth and occupational contentment.
Social psychological research has long-proven the importance of community engagement for our wellbeing and productivity. In human societies which emphasise and value engaging in community from a young age, with shared care and responsibility, people have better mental and emotional wellbeing. In “blue zones” in Europe for example, where people reach 100 years in good health at far higher rates, there may well be some fortunate genetics afoot, but other commonly observed aspects of life remain very consistent across these areas. These factors include a slower life pace, lower interpersonal stress and personal psychological trauma, and better access to a wider number of trusted community carers during development.
Community connection, then, is a cornerstone of our wellbeing and a fundamental part of the Wellselves rationale.
Our life history did not begin in a singular generation. We acknowledge all relevant links between present feelings of psychological trauma and distress, and past human psycho-social traumatisation. We try to better connect people with personal and family life stories where we can, and help communities move past their ‘normalised’ intergenerational distress.
Our strategies for helping clients overcome patterns of past psychological stress and trauma are informed by the very latest research. We continue to be interested in and informed by adult neuropsychological and neurodevelopmental modelling and research, and investigations into bio-psycho-social stress impacts and healing modalities. For example, this might help inform us about the role of cortisol in influencing over-stimulated neurological pathways in PTSD, depression and adrenal fatigue. Or some of its proposed links to pain syndromes, immuno-supressed and hyper-immunity related illnesses, or various muscular and connective tissue difficulties. Children’s pervasive issues such as ASD or ADHD can also sometimes be better understood by learning more about neuro-developmental pathway formation, the role of mirror neurons in the development of human empathy and the science behind attachment and bonding-related hormonal changes.