What do you do from day to day to care for yourself? Most would say that to be healthy, you need nutritious food and exercise.
But what about your social connections?
Research shows us that loneliness is on the rise, and that a lack of human connection can be more harmful to your health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure.
In today’s age, we live busy lives, trying to strike a balance between work, school, hobbies, self-care and more. Often, our social connections fall by the wayside. But connecting with others is more important than you might think. Social connection can lower anxiety and depression, help us regulate our emotions, lead to higher self-esteem and empathy, and actually improve our immune systems. By neglecting our need to connect, we put our health at risk.
The reality is that we’re living in a time of true disconnection. While technology seems to connect us more than ever, the screens around us disconnect us from nature, from ourselves, and from others. Wi-Fi alone isn’t enough to fulfill our social needs – we need face-to-face interaction to thrive. Technology should be enhancing our connection to others, not replacing it.
Our inherent need for human connection doesn’t mean that every introvert must become a social butterfly. Having human connection can look different for each person. And if you’re not sure where to start in finding meaningful connection, that’s okay.
Here are some ideas to help you out:
- Join a new club, or try out a group activity
- Reach out to an old friend you’ve lost touch with
- Volunteer for a cause you care about
- Eat lunch in a communal space
- Introduce yourself to your neighbours
- Ask someone for help when you need it
- Do a random act of kindness
If you’re feeling lonely, know you’re not the only one. And that you don’t have to live in isolation. We live in a world with over seven billion people, and we all need connection.