A new epidemic is loneliness. I remember crying in the middle of the night during a rough time in my life and feeling "bone-chillingly alone." Was I lonely? Here are some reflections on loneliness that might help you feel less lonely, and find the benefits of those inevitable "bone-chillingly-alone" moments in your EBT journey.
I feel like the Grinch who stole Christmas writing this, but at Brain State 1 we are never lonely. When the prefrontal cortex is lovingly attentive and connected to the emotional brain, we feel secure, lovable, loving, and well, pretty joyful.
Then relationships are more satisfying because we're not asking another person to fill a bottomless tank of emptiness. Nobody can abandon us because we aren't "abandonable." We have ourselves.
Going back to that night of being "bone-chillingly alone" I was definitely at Brain State 5, so OF COURSE I felt lonely. Actually, I was so at Brain State 5 that I thought I was going to expire.
What happened then? At a really robust Brain State 5, oxytocin kicks in and we're apt to reach out to others as well as feel more warm and fuzzy (just a bit) inside. However, something more happens. We connect more deeply to ourselves and our emotional and spiritual core.
I'd never wish those nights on myself or anyone else, but the more of them we have, connecting with ourselves, processing our emotions, and reaching out for a few community connections, the sooner we find that loving glow inside. We IMPROVE our relationships with ourselves and can more safely give love and receive it in relationships.
The EBT spiral up techniques fast forward that loving connection with ourselves. However, we need intimacy, and in our research on EBT, it was when people were in weekly groups and had those connections with groupmates between sessions that their health improved the most.
What a paradox! When you are really lonely and a stranger or buddy comes along and offers you kindness, the brain over-remembers it. We need loving connection that much. We catch their higher brain state, and our loneliness vanishes.
What's the solution? Do what we can to spiral up a lot to create a secure connection inside, and in addition, go about giving kindness to others and receiving it, too. The amazing power of love inside and out!