Connection strengthens our immune system and leads to greater health and happiness. On the contrary, loneliness and social isolation can increase the risk of inflammation, depression, heart disease, and difficulties with memory and learning. Solid social connectedness can increase longevity by 50%. Social connectedness, therefore, generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical well-being.
Now here’s the interesting piece. Connection isn’t just about connecting with others. It is also about connecting with ourselves. If you have ever had or have a meditation practice, you may have felt it was all about you. It helps YOU cope; it helps YOU focus; it helps YOU de-stress. AND, have you noticed how meditating or connecting with yourself, in nature, for example, helps you be more compassionate with others, more patient, and perhaps you have noticed that it helps you open up more to others.
So, look for ways to increase your level of connectedness – to yourself and others. Engage in life. Be an active participant in your community, in your own lives and in the lives of those you love the most.
The Practice: The next time you engage in conversation with another person, practice active listening. Practice non-interruption or advice giving. Practice eye contact. Listening attentively and with intention will increase the opportunity for true, heartfelt connection.