Turning Straw Into Gold

by Dean Shrock PhD - 

People Need to Feel Heard and Understood:

My research with cancer concluded that people lived longer because they felt listened to, cared for and supported. I also discovered that the role of social support, communication and listening had been given decided support from psychologist, Dr. James Lynch. 

His more than thirty years of research demonstrated that people’s cardiovascular and neuromuscular systems are directly affected by their communication.

Blood pressure rises (within 30 seconds) almost always 10-50% when people begin to speak.

This is true for all people, healthy and unhealthy (except for schizophrenics). Blood pressure surges are greater while talking than when walking on a treadmill at maximal capacity! 

However, blood pressure drops rapidly when listening to others in a non-defensive way. This held true for deaf mutes using sign language, also.

Their blood pressure increased just like all others, suggesting that it is not talking per se, but the act of communicating that’s vital.

The key here is that when people feel heard and understood, their bodies respond in a far healthier way than when the conversation is not “heartfelt”. 

When people speak without “heart”, without any real feelings of connection to another, the cardiovascular data are very clear: They are at much higher risk for heart disease and premature death.

Dr. Lynch believes that love and felt dialogue are essential for good health. His research concluded that people will search (unconsciously), to the point of physical exhaustion (death), to feel loved and understood. 

excerpt from 'Why Love Heals' 

Turning Straw Into Gold

"Human existence has been referred to by metaphysicians as “a veil of tears.” It seems to be a given that life is going to have its turmoil. However, if life is about learning to love, which I believe is best exemplified by demonstrating compassion, then human existence with all of its seeming tragedy and suffering, may be just what the doctor ordered. 

I like the quote from Jack Cornfield's book, 'A Path With Heart':
"Like the young maiden in the fairy tale “Rumpelstiltskin” who is locked in a room full of straw, we often do not realize that the straw all around us is gold in disguise.  
The basic principle of spiritual life is that our problems become the very place to discover wisdom and love."

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