It’s this human connection that has advanced our world from gathering and hunting for our food to shopping for it in grocery stores.
But with the rise of digital interactions, we’ve also seen an increase in loneliness.
We no longer meet for drinks after work or gather with our friends for game or movie nights. Meetings and social gatherings are now done virtually. We celebrate the events in our lives with a heart or thumbs-up emoji.
In 2019, before the pandemic, 3 in 5 Americans reported being lonely. After the pandemic, this number increased, particularly among young people.
The proposed reason for this rise in loneliness is lack of social interaction and support from our peers and poor mental health.
Simply put: We need human connection. Connecting with others on a physical and emotional level can improve our health and overall well-being.
Connection is one of the most important aspects for our health, as it is essential for our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Human beings are social creatures, and our brains are wired to seek out social interaction and companionship. Whether it's with our families, friends, or colleagues, having meaningful connections with others is crucial to leading a fulfilling life.
One of the main benefits of connection is its impact on our mental health. Studies have shown that people who have strong social connections are less likely to experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Having a support system can help us cope with stress and difficult times, and can also provide us with a sense of purpose and belonging.
Connection is also crucial for our physical health. Social isolation has been linked to a range of health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. On the other hand, having regular social interactions can help boost our immune system and reduce our risk of developing chronic illnesses.
Additionally, connection can improve our cognitive functioning and overall brain health. Engaging in social activities can stimulate our brains and help us stay mentally sharp, and can also help prevent cognitive decline as we age.
Our day-to-day lives are busy. We spend our days balancing between endless meetings, school activities, and family responsibilities. On top of that, we try to squeeze in exercise and running errands.
This leaves us with no time to connect. In a world of more virtual interactions than physical, human connection is now more important than ever.
It can sometimes be a challenge, especially for people who are introverted or have social anxiety. However, there are many ways to build meaningful connections with others, regardless of your personality type.
Here are some tips for connecting with others:
Be open and approachable: One of the most important things you can do to connect with others is to be open and approachable. Smile, make eye contact, and be willing to engage with others. Avoid closed-off body language, like crossing your arms or avoiding eye contact, as this can make others feel unwelcome.
Show genuine interest in others: People love to talk about themselves, so show genuine interest in others by asking questions and actively listening to their responses. Remember their names and follow up with them later to show that you were genuinely interested in what they had to say.
Join groups or clubs: Joining groups or clubs that align with your interests is a great way to connect with others who share similar passions. This can help you meet new people in a low-pressure environment where you can bond over shared interests.
Volunteer: Volunteering is a great way to connect with others while also giving back to your community. It can also provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment, which can improve your overall well-being.
Attend events: Attending events like parties, concerts, and networking events can provide opportunities to meet new people and connect with others in a social setting. If you're nervous about attending events alone, consider bringing a friend or coworker along for support.
Use social media wisely: Social media can be a great tool for connecting with others, but it's important to use it wisely. Avoid using social media as a substitute for real-life interactions, and be mindful of how much time you spend on social media.
Be yourself: Finally, the most important thing you can do to connect with others is to be yourself. People are more likely to connect with you when you're authentic and genuine, so don't be afraid to show your true self.
Even after this article, I can't stress enough the importance of relationships in every area of life. People need people.