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Oct. 16, 2020

040 - The Power of Connection

040 - The Power of Connection

Welcome to The Fully Lived Life podcast! A podcast for those who are longing to pursue the full life and want to break free from anything that holds them back. Listen in as two friends - a psychologist, Dr. Merry and a life coach, Gillian - talk about life, love and purpose - with wisdom, humour and transparency - through the lens of science, psychology, and life experiences.

What: This season of navigating COVID is wreaking havoc with our sense of connection and our mental health. While we cannot control our outside world we can work to manage our inside world. Remember Dr. Merry sharing about the external vs Internal locus of control? COVID has exacerbated our sense of belonging and loneliness but it has also led us to be more empathic to those who struggle chronically with belonging.

So What: Neuroscience researcher, John Cacioppo, has been studying loneliness for over 20 years. He defines loneliness as, “perceived social isolation” – we experience loneliness when we feel disconnected. Maybe we’ve been pushed outside of a group we value or we’re lacking a sense of true belonging.

At the heart of loneliness is the absence of meaningful social interactions.

Loneliness and aloneness aren’t the same things – we can be surrounded with people but still feel lonely – it’s when we’re in places or with people that don’t feel alive with connection.

Worse, loneliness also brings up shame – as if feeling lonely means there’s something wrong with us. We feel shame even when our loneliness is caused by grief, loss, or heartbreak – how much of COVID has contributed to feelings of loneliness??

Now what:

Therapeutic Tips from Merry

How to combat loneliness:

1. Identify loneliness when we feel it.

2. Have the courage to see that experience as a warning sign.

3. Find connection – doesn’t have to be major or many – numerous studies confirms that it’s not the number of friends but the quality of just a few relationships that matter

4. Take a small step of being vulnerable with these few trusted friends – by showing up in our true selves, expressing our desire for connection in a vulnerable way

Coaching Tips from Gillian:

If you are personally feeling lonely, disconnected, or isolated take the brave step and reach out to a trusted friend to connect. It will be brave but it will release all that good dopamine and serotonin in your brain that helps us!

Think of someone in your circle that could use hearing your voice - tell them they have been on your mind and let that dopamine and serotonin get released in their brains… let us care for each other!!


Dr. Merry’s book: https://amzn.to/2rCrJyI Dr. Merry’s videos: https://bit.ly/377eFR0

Dr. Merry’s website: https://drmerry.com

Dr. Lin & Associates: http://drlinandassociates.com

Gillian’s Website: https://gillianmcshane.com

Jen Hatmaker's book: https://amzn.to/2Z6QcKf

Brene Brown’s book: https://amzn.to/35n9ZZE 

Loneliness research: http://www.johncacioppo.com/