Why is social connection so important to our wellbeing?

Social connection is important because it improves our physical health and our psychological wellbeing. Urgh…. that’s my comment as an introvert. Really? Like really?

Connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship – Brene Brown

Did you know that the happiest people on the planet are the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships?

Yes, that’s right.

Social connection adds to our happiness and wellbeing.

Now I want to tell you that I was happy to hear this but it’s not really the kind of news an introvert likes. I have always preferred keeping my distance from people and now I realize that that isn’t healthy either.

Studies have shown that isolation and lack of connection are a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure.

Surprised?

Me too.

In fact, new born babies need to be embraced in order to promote healthy psychological development. The lack of the loving assurance that comes from physical touch can inhibit normal development.

Side note: I believe this to be the same for some adults as well. Some people, you know the ones I’m talking about, just need more hugs in life in general for their overall development.

Now back to the good stuff.

The benefits of strong social connection are:

* 50 % increased chance of longevity

Now I don’t know about you but this appeals to me. I want to live long enough to wipe my partners ass. Some real talk right there.

* Lowers rates of anxiety and depression

(Personal note on anxiety: I used to have it quite badly many, many years ago. At certain times my heart rate would go off the charts and I’d sweat profusely. My doctor prescribed medication for me but I didn’t want to live on medication for the rest of my life nor did I like the way it made me feel. I work at a fast pace and on the medication I felt 100% slower. Sometimes I felt like I was moving backwards instead of forwards. It was very strange and I took the executive decision to ditch the medication altogether.)

* Healthy relationships help strengthen the immune system

Very important during this time

* Helps lower the risk of dementia and mental decline

* Increases self esteem, creates greater empathy and more trusting relationships

Hands linked
Holding hands at sunset

Being that we are in a pandemic
I understand that physical connection may be hard but there are some solutions. As long as we remember that connection comes from the heart, some of these ideas will hopefully help us all stay connected as friends.

Video call as much as possible
It has been shown that video and audio calling produces similar amounts of happy hormone as it does when you see a person face-to-face.

Looking for a good games night? Try the Houseparty app.
You can play a round of trivia, test your skills at charades or even try pictionary.

Host a virtual movie night with Netflix Party.
It’s a free google chrome extension that allows you to watch a movie at the same time as family or friends. It also has a group chat function where you can share commentary and emojis.

Start a virtual book club.
Keep your mind active while remaining connected at the same time.

Start a virtual knitting club.
Since we have been limited in using our sense of touch during Covid-19, this is a great way to incorporate physical touch in our lives. Knitting also helps you stay relaxed and calm. Gather your friends on Zoom and have a little “tit and knit” session. (oh and tit as in tit bit, just in case you were wondering)

And if none of these appeal to you choose one person in your contact list every week and check in with them, get on social media and start engaging ( I have made a few new friends this way, yes very shocking) or call your family and say hi.

Sending virtual hugs and high fives friends. Stay healthy, safe and connected.

With much love
LML

P.S. If you have any other suggestions or if you want to invite me to a games night (at your own peril), drop me a comment below.

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