Research supports the idea that resilience is deeply interwoven with social connectedness. In order to learn new things and navigate our way socially through the world with ease, our nervous system must be calm and alert, and that only happens when we feel safe and able to connect with other people. As human beings we are physiologically hardwired to live in community with others, and we all want desperately to do that at some level.
Unfortunately, community remains out of reach for many people struggling with anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s, dementia, autism, trauma, and a variety of other neurological and behavioral challenges. People who are traumatized or doing battle with their emotions on a daily basis have sensitized nervous systems that detect, magnify, and misread nuances invisible to others. It is nearly impossible to build recovery and resilience in a person so threatened by human contact, even that of a gifted therapist, that the ‘milk of human kindness’ is not accessible to them.
The lifelong consequences of early stress, the physical pain of social rejection, the biology of safety and danger – how our internal states interact with the faces and voices of those around us, the significance of resilience for telomere growth; all of these are emerging as important pieces of the puzzle that is human behavior.
When you have no sense of ‘belonging’ to a group or community, and social connectedness is diminished, there are significant negative consequences: Physical and behavioral health, the ability to regulate your behavior, and cognitive abilities all decline. A meta-analysis of 148 studies concluded that a lack of social support had a serious negative impact, including difficulty recovering from stressful situations, the inability to stay cold-free when exposed to the cold virus, and earlier mortality. (Baumeister, Tenge, & Nuss, 2002; Gruenewald, 2010.)
CalmConnect provides people with the salient aspects of human connection, emotion, and positive social engagement (facial expressions and eye contact, vocal prosody in higher frequencies shared by the female voice, and simple, rhythmically attuned movements – gestures) without the threat of a live, human being. CalmConnect helps people of all ages and abilities to calm their nervous system, change their behavior, and connect with others.