Page 7 - The First 60 Days Magazine - February 2024
P. 7


                                                                    AND CALMING RUNS

                                                              THROUGH RELATIONSHIPS

                                                                              By Ira Hillman,

                                                                      From: Elkhorn  Collaborative

                                                                                          A portion of the article shares:

        "The Link Between Relationships and the Brain

        Our earliest relationships wire us for connection and re-connection. That is because co-regulation begins in utero
        where our hearts and bodies send signals from the womb to our brains. After birth, our relationships continue to
        influence our heart rate, breathing, and other body functions, which change our emotional energy and behavior.
        Those crucial signals get transmitted to the brain via the autonomic nervous system. This is the language our body
        uses to tell us how to feel and what to do.

           “Caregiving interactions help build the infant’s capacity to love. The attentive loving behaviors grow the neural
          networks that allow us to feel love, and then act in loving ways towards others. If you are loved, you learn to love.
          Caring for the infant in this loving way also changes the brain of the caregiving adult. These interactions regulate
                                             and reward both child and caregiver.”
                                         — Dr. Bruce Perry in What Happened to You?

        Human connections, especially our early interactions with those closest to us and responsible for our caregiving,
        shape  the  trajectory  of  our  lives.  While  adversity  in  childhood  certainly  affects  future  well-being,  studies  have
        shown  that  safe,  stable,  and  nurturing  relationships  can  buffer  the  effects  of  adversity  even  in  extreme  cases,
        paving the way for improved development and success in life.
        The  power  of  relationships  continues  beyond  the  early  years  of  life.  According  to  Dr.  Perry,  the  repetition  and
        rhythm of sensory stimulation, like rocking a baby or walking with a friend holding hands, brings the body back to a
        calm state that allows the brain to function most effectively.
        Even when our lives are rich with relationships and connection, disconnection is part of every interaction and is
        inevitable. From technology to pressures of daily life, distractions exist all around us. Moreover, people, no matter
        how close they are to us, can ultimately say or do things that may push us away or alert our bodies of potential
        danger  or  disagreement.  This  is  why  it  is  critical  to  remember  that  the  states  of  emotional  connection  and
        disconnection are not permanent.
        Our brains and bodies can draw on the pattern of pairing emotional expression and shared
        stimulation of our senses (e.g., soothing touch, eye contact, and deep listening) to reconnect
        and restore a state of emotional connection time and again.

                                                                                                                                 Read the full article:


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