Since the beginning of time, humans have thrived on the connection with others. Although hunting for food in tribes is no longer part of our daily routine, the need for connection, unity and community remains a vital part in our survival.
Our day-to-day lives are hectic. With balancing work meetings, family responsibilities, doing the food shop, running errands, and finding time to exercise – it is easy to leave looking after ourselves last on the to-do list.
After Covid-19, the connections that we share either at work or personally have become more and more virtual. Work meetings via zoom or WhatsApp voice notes, are considered the norm in the way we connect.
Now more than ever we need physical human connection and here’s why:
The Benefits of Human Connection
- Mental Health Boost
Finding ways to support our mental health is becoming more and more popular. Human connection can give us a mood boost, reduce stress, and improve self-esteem.
- Longer Life Span
Research has shown that a lack of human connection can increase chances of death by 50% and that a lack of human connection has more harmful impacts than smoking or obesity.
- Increased Fulfilment
Not only does connection allow all kinds of emotions to be released – whether we are seeking advice, telling a funny story, or even having a good old moan! Our brain also releases dopamine and endorphins- the ‘feel good’neurotransmitters!
“Connection is not an exchange of information. It’s an exchange of humanity. It’s an exchange of emotion” Sean Stephenson
Human connection can look different for everyone. It’s all about finding what’s right for you, particularly if you find connecting with humans challenging.
Like most things, there’s not a ‘one size fits all’ approach to making connections, it’s important to:
- Do things you enjoy
If a night out on the town isn’t your scene, or you don’t enjoy exercise classes with 20 other people, then do something else! If you find something that you love doing, connecting, and socialising with others will become easier and it will make it more enjoyable!
- Listen to yourself
If you’ve had ‘one of those days’, you might not be up for the catch up you had planned. Be honest with yourself and those around you – after all you can always schedule a different time where you’re feeling up to it!
- Try not to get too comfy
Saying that, it’s often easy to stay in your comfort zone and hibernate. Every once in a while, it can be good to try something new – be brave and make a new connection!
PsychCentral, 2021, https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-importance-of-connection