A Dab of Science
Emotional memories can cause us to feel fear, anger and stress in situations where those emotions are not adaptive or helpful.
The amygdala, a part of the brain that plays a key role in emotional memory, can trigger stress, fear or an aggressive response faster than we can think. Based on past information and situations, it can keep us trapped in negative emotional patterns that can lead to health challenges and counterproductive behavior.
The Connection Practice not only calms the reactions of the amygdala, but it activates our highest and best intelligence.
There are a number of scientific studies focusing on Nonviolent Communication. and perhaps more focusing on meditation or mindfulness. The Connection Practice, however, evolved out of both the essence of NVC and a particular form of meditation, namely Quick Coherence from HeartMath. It would appear that very few attempts have been made to scientifically assess the results of combining techniques from NVC with meditation or mindfulness.
One really cool story from our neck of the woods (Washington State) concerns the Freedom Project, a program that teaches NVC and mindfulness practices to prisoners. A study showed that prisoners who went through the training had a significantly lower rate of reoffending (approximately 21% vs. 37%), lower levels of anger, and more ability to express themselves in a non-confrontational way. The study notes, “Extrapolating, if 37% of returnees are expected to reoffend, but only 21% of Freedom Project trainees did so, and if the cost of keeping a man in prison is U.S. $98 per day, training by Freedom Project has saved the state of Washington US$5,065,320.00 per year.” We find this study particularly interesting because, like The Connection Practice, the Freedom Project demonstrates the synergy of NVC and a secular meditation technique (mindfulness).
For more studies, see “Two Studies Explain Why the Connection Practice Works.”