We all live busy lives, trying to strike a balance between work, school, hobbies, self-care and
more. Often, our social connections fall by the wayside. But connecting with others is more important than you might think. Social connection can lower anxiety and depression, help us regulate our emotions, lead to higher self-esteem and empathy, and actually improve our immune systems. By neglecting our need to connect, we put our health at risk.
The reality is that we’re living in a time of true disconnection. While technology seems to connect us more than ever, the screens around us disconnect us from nature, from ourselves, and from others. We need face-to-face interaction to thrive. Technology should be enhancing our connection to others, not replacing it.
Our inherent need for human connection doesn’t mean that every introvert must become a social butterfly. Having human connection can look different for each person. If you’re not sure where to start in finding meaningful connection, that’s okay. Here are some ideas to help you out:
• Join a new club, or try out a group activity
• Reach out to an old friend you’ve lost touch with
• Volunteer for a cause you care about
• Eat lunch in a communal space
• Introduce yourself to your neighbours
• Ask someone for help when you need it
• Do a random act of kindness
Human beings are inherently social creatures. As far back as we can trace, humans have travelled, hunted, and thrived in social groups and for good reason. Humans who were separated from their tribe often suffered severe consequences. Social groups provide us with an important part of our identity, and more than that, they teach us a set of skills that help us to live our lives. Feeling socially connected, especially in an increasingly isolated world, is more important than ever. Research shows us that loneliness is on the rise, and that a lack of human connection can be more harmful to your health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure