No matter how much time you devote to improving your mental and emotional health, you will still need the company of others to
feel and be your best. Humans are social creatures with an emotional need for relationships and positive connections to others. We’re not meant to survive, let alone thrive, in isolation. Our social brains crave companionship–even when experience has made us shy and distrustful of others (Smith, Segal & Segal, 2013).
We are wired for connection. It’s in our biology. As infants, our need for connection is about survival. As we grow older, connection means thriving–emotionally, physically, spiritually and intellectually. Connection is critical because we all have the basic need to feel accepted and to believe that we belong and are valued for who we are (Brown, 2007).
Just a few tips and strategies for connecting to others:
• Get out from behind your TV or computer screen. Communication is a largely nonverbal experience that requires you to be in direct contact with other people.
• Spend time daily, face-to-face, with people you like. Make spending time with people you enjoy a priority.
• Help others. The meaning and purpose you find in helping others will expand your life.
• Be a joiner. Join networking, social action, conservation, bible study, support, or special interest groups that meet on a regular basis.
• Dare to be vulnerable with friends. Vulnerability helps to build trust which leads to deeper connections with others.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. –Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV
If you would like to know more about the benefits of connecting with others, contact The Refuge Center at (615) 592-5262 or visit us at refugecenter.org for more information about the services we offer.
Brown, B. (2007). I thought it was just me (but it isn’t). New York, New Your: Gotham Books
Smith, M., Segal, R., & Segal, J., (2013). Improving emotional health: Strategies and tips for good mental
health. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/mental_emotional_health.htm