About loneliness, stress and lack of contact
Lack of contact is a phenomenon that is unfortunately becoming more and more widespread. We touch each other less and less. Whether it is out of fear of seeming to encroach on our lives or because our proximity to people is becoming more and more suspicious, perhaps even unpleasant - it happens.
Virtually, many people feel safer, but what is missing is the actual contact. Person to person. Eye to eye. Skin to skin.
There are now many theories about the why and where from and, thank God, more and more studies on this subject, which may perhaps lead to a turnaround towards more touch.
The consequences of lack of contact include loneliness, stress and lack of contact and their effects are serious.
"I'm so lonely." - Participant in his first Conscious Cuddle Experience
If the adult is not able to build up a social network to catch him in emergencies and has no one or only a few people to share experiences (joy and suffering), then he is lonely.
Loneliness is not only painful, it also means permanent stress, i.e. a latently unbalanced hormone balance in which cortisol predominates. Loneliness initiates a downward spiral, because over time one loses the ability to connect with other people, feels alone and isolated, even with friends or in large groups, which only increases the feeling of loneliness. Oxytocin, the cuddling hormone, can turn this downward spiral into an upward spiral, because by increasing it we become more social again and are able to connect with other people.
Those who feel excluded and isolated from society not only suffer more emotionally. He also suffers more physically: a simple cold feels worse when you have to do without loving support.
Loneliness weakens the body and defences and diseases can spread more easily. It increases the probability of contracting various chronic diseases and dying earlier.
Many lonely people develop a feeling of 'what for?' and the will to live decreases.
"You have no idea how much my life has changed." - the same participant after his fourth Conscious Cuddle Experience
Stress, especially permanent stress, which is now experienced by many, is a major health risk. The body works in three modes: relaxation, normal and peak performance mode, the latter being the case with stress. If the body runs in peak performance mode all the time, it cannot regenerate or repair itself. More and more organs and systems are overstrained, work restricted or fail. Others have to step in and are all the more overloaded. Fewer and fewer threads hold a patch together and at some point the body shuts down and does nothing but regenerate. A classic burnout develops, there is no longer any resistance. Even the most minimal tasks feel too much and are overwhelming.
Only in normal mode, but especially in relaxation mode, does the immune system work at full power, only then does repair capacity exist.
It is alarming that many people commute almost their entire time between normal and peak performance mode and can no longer reach the relaxation mode or, should it occur, cannot stand it.
Lack of contact
Lack of touch is not only a risk in itself, it also exacerbates both loneliness and stress, and makes people less resistant to stress.
It usually develops in childhood and, if experienced in the first few years, cannot be completely absorbed. Growth and developmental disorders, difficulties in social interaction are only some of the consequences. If the lack of touch happens later or only in adulthood, many things can be compensated for by feeding, e.g. bonding or cuddling therapy.
The symptoms of lack of touch can be divided into two categories: physical and psychological. Physical ones include a disbalance of the hormone balance, the oxytocin level drops and the cortisol level rises (pleasant touch restores balance) and the feeling of being a needy energetic hole that has nothing to give (touch over a longer period of time fills this hole again). Psychic ones are: Neuroses, social phobias and anxiety disorders, burnout and depression.
The effects of lack of contact and attempts to compensate are serious:
addiction: The body is supplied with all sorts of substances that calm an unquenchable urge (restlessness, nervousness, emptiness) for a short time. Dopamine is released, a rush of happiness occurs, but this fades away relatively quickly.
This category also includes eating and sugar addiction, alcohol and nicotine consumption or the dependence on likes and dislikes.
Dependence on success: If no unconditional touch is experienced, the feeling arises that you first have to achieve a lot to be worth something and deserve recognition. Self-worth is largely linked to success. The risk of burnout is high.
Compensation through sex: The lack of touch is compensated for through sex, which cannot be successful, since these are two different needs.
This kind of compensation can be learned early on or only arise in adulthood. A neglected child, emotionally or physically, often focuses on touching his or her own genitals, on masturbation. This learned behaviour, the combination of touch, well-being and sexual experience, can lead to high pornography consumption and sex addiction. Sex becomes a habit, the self identifies itself through sexual performance.
Suppression: If the need for closeness and cuddling is not satisfied, some suppress the need itself. However, people who use this strategy often radiate neediness or a certain coldness and hardness. They protect themselves by not letting anything get to them. Because that would be too dangerous, would make the pain of the absence of closeness and intimacy too obvious. But the suppression of feelings can lead to listlessness. Boredom and lack of energy spread, the feeling of meaninglessness about one's own existence arises, the question about the meaning of life arises: "What am I still doing here? And so the lack of connection and integration into society leads to loneliness and depression. Sects or even spiritual schools are catchment basins for these people, because they are looking for something and often do not know what. They reach for every straw to finally feel better.
Neediness: Needy people enter into relationships to protect themselves from being alone. They usually adapt themselves a lot, have little self-worth, want to please everybody and live (bad) compromises. "Anything is better than being alone." This category includes the 'peoplepleasers' who sacrifice, give and give in order to finally and fairly get something back. A calculation that never works out.
Lack of touch can only be cured by touch. If a person suffers from this, he is usually already under treatment (e.g. in psychotherapy), because he simply doesn't know what to do.
and nothing seems to help. However, talking therapy alone cannot do much here. It can bring insights, the feeling of finally being heard and understood, seen in pain, but it cannot heal lack of touch. Physical experience is needed for this.
When the next cuddle party is, you can find out here.