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Heart Healthy Connections: Why Everyday is Valentine's Day


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Heart Healthy Connections: Why Everyday is Valentine's Day

  1. 1. Via Christi Women’s Connection February 12, 2013 Heart Healthy Connections:Why Everyday is Valentine’s Day Ron Matson, Ph.D.
  2. 2. Start with Self-love“We are all born as either a prince or a princessand society turns us into a frog.” Eric Berne “If it is not worthy of laughter, it is not worthy of being called the Tao.” Lao Tsu Remember to laugh…always.
  3. 3. Self-Love…in a Healthy WayA. The essence of loving relationships always begins with understanding the self. 1. Archeology (Nietzsche): continual process of digging through ones layers of collected experience. Reflection or self-understanding is elemental (key) to growing, self-actualizing, and intimacy. 2. Self-love; compassion for our strengths and limitations 3. Authenticity with oneself and in relationships is the greatest gift. Truth 4. In loving we find the spiritual (deep, profound, meaningful) connection with others, oneself, and the world around us. 5. Connections bring us peace and equanimity, decrease stress; making us physically and emotionally healthier.
  4. 4. Social Relationships and Health: The Bio/Psycho/Sociology of It All Social Relationships and Health: A History A. Berkman and Syme: 1970 longitudinal mortality study B. Dean Ornish’s Love and Survival, 1997 C. Oxytocin/brain chemistry and neuro-sociology D. Spirituality and connection; what we are learning in the west
  5. 5. New Work in Social NeuroscienceCacioppo, father of neuroscience, writes “Theemotional status of our main relationships hasan impact on our overall pattern ofcardiovascular and neuroendocrine activity.”Social rejection activates the same parts of thebrain that generate the sting of physical painWe are each other’s enemies or allies with theattendant effects.
  6. 6. The Sociology and Social Psychology of Social SupportA. A generation of work on “Social Support and Stress” 1975- 20131. Social support is comprised of three elements a. A sense of belonging or place; family and friends b. A sense of status or importance; multifaceted c. A sense of being cared for and caring for others; love2. Rarely found in one relationship3. Effective in dealing with stress and the negative impact of stress4. Gender issues in social support and healthB. The rabbit study …but it’s true. No anthropomorphizing, please.
  7. 7. What It Means for You and MeA. Believe that your physical and emotional health is driven by the quality of our relationships. (Don’t forget the relationship you have with yourself!)1. Cut your losses2. Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative; stop the pain.B. We create the world around us by how we live our life.C. Develop and maintain a core of importantrelationships that are positive and compassionate.
  8. 8. Matson Quotes• self love is a precursor to love• love is a feeling; it becomes real when expressed in action• respect is more important than love• love is a process, not a product• love is not a commodity to give and receive in the marketplace of relationships• love is spiritual in the sense that we know of love through the selfless expression of grace and unqualified devotion• love is unique sayings, rituals, communication patterns, a history of shared experiences, ways we cooperate to create the next moment of our lives• love is patient and kind• love is romantic relationships that keep our partner’s needs in a position of importance above our own needs• love is something that touches the place in me that is love and when I am touched in that place the entire world is transformed
  9. 9. BibliographyCacioppo, John T. and Gary G. Bernston (eds). 2004. Essays in Social Neuroscience Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Cacioppo, John T., Visser, Penny S. and Cynthia L. Pickett (eds). 2006. Social Neuroscience: People Thinking about Thinking People Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Cohen, Sheldon and S. Leonard Syme. 1985. Social Support and Health Academic Press.Goleman, Daniel. 2006. Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships New York, NY: Bantam Dell.Haramon-Jones, Eddie and Piotr Winkielman (eds). 2007. Social Neuroscience: Integrating Biological and Psychological Explanations of Social Behavior New York, NY: The Guilford Press.Ornish, Dean. 1997. Love and Survival: The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers
  10. 10. Bibliography for Self Care in a Crazy WorldBlake, William. 1974. The Portable Blake New York: Viking Press.Gibran, Kahlil. 1969. The Prophet New York: Alfred A. Knopf.Hanh, Tich Nhat. 1991. Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life New York: Bantam Press.Heim, Pat, Murphy, Susan and Susan Golant. 2001. In the Company of Women. New York: Tarcher/Putnam.His Holiness the Dalai Lama. 1998. The Art of Happiness New York: Riverbend Books.Kornfield, Jack. 2000. After the Ecstasy, the Laundry: How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path New York: Bantam Books.
  11. 11. Self Care bib (cont)Lunden, Stephen C., Paul, Harry, and John Christensen. 2000. Fish! New York, NY: Hyperion.Ming-Dao. 365 Tao.Nelson, Portia. Theres a Hole in My sidewalk: The Romance of Self- Discovery. Beyond Words Publishing 1994.Ram Dass. 1974. The Only Dance There Is New York: Anchor Books.Tillich, Paul. 1952. The Courage to Be New Haven: CT: Yale University Press.Tolle, Eckhart. 1997. The Power of Now ????________. 1999. Practicing the Power of Now Novato, CA: New World Library.________. 2003. Stillness Speaks Novato, CA: New World Library.---