Why Connection is so Important
Updated: May 3
Connection with others is more important than you might think. Meaningful connections with others lowers anxiety and depression, raises self-esteem, improves immune function and helps with emotional regulation. The human brain is hard wired to seek connection because evolutionarily people needed to band together to survive.
So what is connection? Connection is a feeling of belonging and closeness that allows us to feel seen, heard and understood by another person. This feeling nourishes and energizes us and leads to a feeling of being valued and worthy.
Why is connection so important? Connection serves many functions such as:
Improvement in mental health, better quality of life, higher self-esteem, a greater sense of fulfillment and longer lifespan. In the current day and age where human connection is often through a phone or computer screen, there has been an increase in depression and anxiety due to the lack of face to face interaction. When we interact with others, even briefly our brain releases a number of hormones known as the "feel good" hormones which improves our mood and reduces loneliness. Loneliness and social isolation has been sho
wn in multiple studies to negatively impact both our physical and mental health.
Ways to cultivate connection?
Join a club with people that have similar interests such as a running club, a hiking club or a book club. Another way to meet people with shared interests is to volunteer for a cause that feels important to you. When you do meet new people be curious about them and practice active listening. Physical touch is important and deepens our bonds such as a handshake or hug if both parties agree. If you notice you are feeling lonely or disconnected make time to reach out to others or find ways to engage the important people in your life. More than ever, it is important to make an effort to put down our devices and have face to face interactions with loved ones, friends or acquaintances. Connection can be a quick call or a quick cup of coffee or it can be a long discussion or sharing an experience together. A little can go a long way.
Jackie Perin, LPC