Feeling of Connection: Techniques
Two additional psychological techniques that elicit the feeling of connection between people or to nature are ecotherapy and empathy-based positive psychology interventions.
- A recent analysis of ecotherapy research published in the journal of Frontiers in Psychology highlighted ecotherapy as a well-substantiated psychological technique that employs various experiential treatments and nature-based exposures to foster a sense of connection with nature.
- Ultimately, this connection with nature is used to promote an individual's feelings of well-being, create a greater sense of security and facilitate a more general, longstanding sense of connection with the natural world.
- Similarly, an article from Harvard Health Publishing highlighted how psychotherapists or other practitioners of ecotherapy facilitate interaction(s) between a patient and nature to promote greater mental and physical health, as well as a greater overall sense of conceitedness with the natural environment.
- Fundamentally, this psychological technique relies on the assumption that reconnecting humans with nature will help individuals recognize that they are part of a larger ecosystem, and thereby relieve emotional and physical stress.
- Meanwhile, in practice, this technique may take a variety of forms, ranging from conducting more traditional talk therapy in an outside setting such as a garden or beach, to engaging a patient in greencare activities such as farming or animal-assisted interventions.
- Additionally, ecotherapy is often partnered with other techniques, such as mindfulness practices.
- Meanwhile, the latest research in the journal of Ecopsychology suggests that ecotherapy has the potential to not only connect a person with nature, but also to facilitate greater social and spiritual connections more generally.
Empathy-Based Positive Psychology Interventions
- The Handbook of Well-Being and psychology trade, PositivePsychology are among the significant breadth of research and analysis regarding how empathy-based positive psychology interventions (PPIs) are used to elicit feelings of connection between people.
- One of many PPIs, empathy-based interventions look to strengthen positive emotions in interpersonal relationships, with the goal of leveraging healthy social bonds to promote an individual's sense of happiness and inner peace.
- Fundamentally, empathy-based interventions encourage a patient to consider another person’s perspective and, in doing so, to both develop an understanding for the feelings of another, as well as to build a greater sense of connection with that other person.
- For example, one empathy-based PPI is the use of a loving-kindness meditation (LKM), which is similar to mindfulness meditation, but focuses on building a love for others instead of self awareness.
- Meanwhile, other PPIs that are deployed to promote empathy include self-affirmations, which build empathy for others by first strengthening empathy for oneself, and communication exercises.
- Ultimately, these empathy-based activities facilitate a greater understanding between individuals and, in doing so, a greater sense of connection between the specific individuals and with the larger social community more generally.