The importance of connection

We know that to promote good physical health we are supposed to eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains, get regular exercise and maintain good sleep habits. What we have learned through research is that social connection is also important to our physical health and well-being as well as our psychological well-being. Strong social connections and a sense of belonging can increase our longevity and lower our rates of anxiety and depression.
According to Brene Brown, Professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and well-known author and TED Talk presenter, “a deep sense of love and belonging is an irresistible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.” To belong does not mean that we have a huge circle of family or friends or 1,000 followers on Instagram; it means to feel an internal sense of belonging and connection. This internal feeling can be generated from a one to one connection with someone we care about or while volunteering with a group of strangers.
Connecting with others through social media is nice, and, frankly, convenient, but it is not the same as face to face, or voice to voice. If someone you know seems to be isolated or disconnected, think of how you can reach out to them with a visit or a phone call. They may not have the energy to reach out to others at this point in time. Be there for them to connect, to listen and to show that someone cares.

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