How Connecting With Others Can Help Our Collective Anxiety: Renée McDonald

In the end, we are all just a bunch of atoms bouncing about in the void. Now, that’s a rather morbid way of looking at life, isn’t it? Yet, if there’s one thing that gives this scientific view a human meaning, it’s the connections we share as atoms, within us, and with others. This natural connection is the foundation on which global collaborations are based. We collaborate because it’s in our DNA. For coach and psychotherapist Renée McDonald, this connection with others might be the game changer in a world of collective anxiety.

Renée is an Australian counselor, coach, psychotherapist, and Founder of Australian Online Therapy Training with extensive experience in “helping professionals to transition to working online, working with therapy or coaching clients and mentoring, supervising and advising clinicians.”  

Transition often causes anxiety to arise. Change is constant, and it seems so is our struggle with it. In our modern times, nothing seems to be able to hold its position. The pace at which we are moving seems to be against the very grain of nature of which we are a part. Our brains can sense some underlying danger in this, but our modern sensibilities are unable to put that danger into words. Hence, an anxiety that we share as a people. 

What’s worse than having anxiety is not knowing what triggered it. Talking about her work, Renée sheds light on how often and how many people “are not aware of what’s underlying anxiety.” This lack of awareness further adds to the fear that comes our way. It reached its peak during the Covid-19 pandemic when we were asked to “disconnect, by our governments, courtesy of COVID-19, it drives up anxiety responses and limits our ability to connect with others. It essentially becomes a vicious cycle” Renée adds.

However, this dark cloud, like all dark clouds, comes with a silver lining; in the form of our connection with each other. Connecting with others gives us a sense of security and safety. It’s a tradition we share as a species that has only grown bigger with time. For Renée, “The antidote really is to connect to others, though if we’re unable to socially – depending upon where we live – then it will be important in the coming months and years, that we work hard on connecting to our inner self first. Beyond connecting to ourselves, it will be important to virtually connect, or perhaps seek out support.” People, when they know themselves well, can help others become better. This unity is as practical as can be. You have something to offer, and so do they. In coming together, both parties stand to gain.

It’s in our best interest to become part of communities and link diverse unities to form a conglomeration that’s strong and supportive of itself and realize, as Renée adds, “that you’re not alone.”

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