Creating Connection and How Asking for Help… Helps! (It’s not about being helpless, it’s about connection!)
Asking for help: easy? or hard?
If you answered hard, tell me more!
The predominant culture in North America, and what I’d say is most of what we consider the “West” is based on the individual, rather than the collective.
The trauma response to this is: Extreme Independence.
Yes — the trauma response.
Many (most?) of us are raised with the belief that we not only CAN, but we HAVE TO do it all alone. And, if we are unable to do it all alone, there must be something lacking — or wrong — with us.
I’d like to counter that.
ESPECIALLY if you are one of my clients: A Single Mom who “does it all” — READ THIS! (And then join THIS GROUP!)
Connection is essential, and loneliness is lethal.
Extreme Independence is interfering with our ability to connect. And, as I mentioned, it IS a trauma response.
If you are a Single Mom, no matter how you came to be one, I guarantee there is trauma in your story.
Here are SIX reasons why I want you to make a PRACTICE of ASKING FOR HELP:
- Improved health, wellness, and wellbeing. By asking for help, you are able to “share the load.” Both physically and metaphorically, ask yourself right now, What is weighing me down? What of this can be shared? How can I share it?
Getting help when you need it decreases stress levels (check out the hormone cortisol and what it does, especially when you are experiencing chronic stress.)
By decreasing stress levels, the sense of overwhelm diminishes, allowing your body to recalibrate to equilibrium, a sense of peace, stability, and resilience.
By decreasing stress levels, negative thoughts (What I call Toxicity of the Thoughts) dissipate, because you no longer criticize or judge yourself for “not getting it all done!”
Knowing THIS, why wouldn’t you ask for help?
- Your Productivity Increases. This one might be obvious. When you receive the help that you need, the number of tasks on your To Do list decreases. Or, the distractions keeping you from addressing your To Do list, are diminished, thus decreasing the sense of overwhelm and stress, which enable you to focus on that task at hand.
Are you with me? If this logic makes sense, then I ask, Why are you not asking for help?
- Opportunity & Growth Mindset. I have experienced time and again, that when I ask for help, I have an opportunity to learn. For example, when I was newly a Single Mom, I had no idea how to look at my finances or how to make sense of them. Honestly, thinking about finances, having been a stay-at-home mom for 10 years with very little income, caused me stress and overwhelm. Asking for help at first relieved me of the stress. Over time, as I paid attention to the help I was receiving, I learned and grew and gained a better understanding. Today, while I am far from perfect, the idea of looking at my budget, investment, and long-term goals, is exciting, and not intimidating as it once was.
I LOVE learning and growing. I am sure that you do too, or else you wouldn’t be reading this! So, Why are you not asking for help?
- Gratitude. Had you ever considered THIS being a benefit of asking for help? Have you ever done a 21 Days of Gratitude practice? I highly recommend it. Practicing gratitude increases your sense of wellbeing — eudaemonia.
Eudaimonia is a state in which you are ready and able to connect. In Polyvagal Theory, it is the state where social engagement can happen. And we all know how important that is!
Connection is essential. Loneliness is lethal.
Try something with me: Sit tall, feet on the floor. Breathe naturally. Think of something you feel grateful for. Feel gratitude. Allow a slight smile to come to your face as you hold that thing you feel gratitude for in your mind. Notice the sensations of the body.
(This is the practice of Embodied Mindfulness that I teach.)
When you ASK for help, you have the OPPORTUNITY to practice gratitude for the person you are receiving the help from. With this, you achieve a state of eudaemonia, in which you are ready and able for social engagement.
Want to try a gratitude practice? Click here for my guided meditation.
- Connecting Consciously. We all have a basic need to belong and to feel significant. When you ask for help, the person you are asking feels SEEN, NEEDED, and SIGNIFICANT.
There is also a relatable aspect to asking for help, because you are able to be vulnerable with another person, and in turn, they will be more able to be vulnerable with you, which creates true connection.
When we connect with another, the hormone oxytocin is released, which is the “love hormone,” of social engagement and connection. We are able to “tend and befriend.”
Taking one more look at Polyvagal Theory, when we are acting in Extreme Independence, it is quite likely that we are in a state of Sympathetic Arousal, meaning the nervous system is activated, on hyper-alert, and looking for dangers. We cannot function well here. We may for a time, but eventually, the state of chronic stress will lead to dis-ease, of the mind or body.
By asking for help, we improve our health, wellness, and wellbeing. Productivity increases. We are ready and open to growing and learning.
Through the human connection created in asking for and receiving help, the nervous system can shift out of sympathetic arousal, and into Ventral Vagal, which is a state of equilibrium, allowing for social engagement.
By asking for help, we are allowing the nervous system and our behavior to re-pattern from what is disordered into what is supportive and helpful.
Do you need some help asking for help?
It’s not far away. And I am here to help.
You are WORTHY of all. 💞