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Disconnection Syndrome: What Is It and How to Help It

By: Kayla Barnes

As a society, we sometimes find ourselves lonely, anxious, and depressed. We are becoming separated from sustainable joy. Unfortunately, many aspects of the modern world can keep us locked into a state of disconnection syndrome.


What are the drivers of Disconnection Syndrome? 

 

MINDLESS ACTIVITY - Constant social media scrolling or a general mentally disconnected state. 


To improve this, decide to be intentional with your time. Set your plan for the day and follow the schedule that you've defined. Set timers for social media scrolling to limit scrolling and be more intentional. 


LONELINESS - In a state of the pandemic, loneliness is at an all-time high. 


To improve this, prioritize calling family and friends or scheduling a zoom call. When socially distanced and safe in-person opportunities arise, take them when and if you feel comfortable.


CHRONIC INFLAMMATION - Constant consumption of negative and fear-induced news can lead to chronic stress. High-sugar and refined carbohydrates in our foods can create chronic inflammation in our bodies and brains. 


To improve this, incorporate meditation and breathwork into your day. Also, ensure you are fueling your body with clean and nutrient-dense foods to boost your mood and performance. I always suggest limiting your sugar intake. 


INSTANT GRATIFICATION - In a world of likes, we can quickly get caught up in the immediate and lose sight of the long-term. It feels great and boosts your dopamine when your latest post is well received, but it is essential to remember that not all greatness is immediately recognized. 


To improve this, set a plan for your next week, month, and year. Remind yourself that your daily efforts are bringing you closer to the ultimate end goal. 


NARCISSISM - It is backed by science that when we think more of others and bring joy to others, it leads to improved happiness within ourselves. 


To improve this, make a conscious effort to do something nice for someone every day. Think about how you treat others and how you can positively impact lives around you. 


POOR RELATIONSHIPS - As they say, you become who you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with negative people, you will become negative. On the contrary, if you surround yourself with positive or ambitious people, you will become more positive and ambitious.


To improve this, make it a point to evaluate your relationships thoroughly and often. Ask yourself if those around you are making you a better or worse person. 


CHRONIC STRESS - Media and stressors of the unknown can induce chronic stress. Chronic stress leads to inflammation and a state of fight or flight in the body. It's essential to lower stress levels for a healthier and happier life. 


To improve this, again, meditation and breathwork are essential but reflecting on what you are grateful for can help lower stress. Take time to care for your body in every way available to you. From the alone time to exercise -- anything that makes you feel good. 


IMPULSIVITY - From impulsive purchases to decision making, impulsivity can bring fleeting happiness but does not always equal sustainable joy. 


To improve this, ensure you are intentional about your decisions and that your choices are aligned with long-term happiness versus short term gratification. 


To achieve long-term happiness, it's essential that we look inward, rewire our brains with gratitude, and enjoy the journey, not just the destination.


Make small and intentional changes daily for a joy-filled life. 


Thank you, Dr. Pearlmutter, for coining this use of Disconnection Syndrome!

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