Human beings are social creatures. We need to be close and connected to others. In fact, some people say that our need to connect with others is as basic as our need for food, water and shelter. And that it developed because we need other humans to survive. They point out that humans are actually “wired” to connect with others.
Social connections are the relationship you have with the people around you. They may be close relationships, like with family, friends and neighbours, or more distant like with people you don’t know that well yet. Your connections can live with you, or near you, or be far away so that you can only connect on the phone, by texting or messaging.
You may prefer having lots of social connections or just a few. All of these variations are okay!
Research shows that social connection with others is super important. There are many, many benefits to feeling connected to others. Connections really help our mind, body and spirit. For example, did you know that feeling and being connected:
- Can increase how long we live
- Can strengthen our immune system
- Can contribute to lower levels of anxiety and depression
- Can increase our sense of happiness, empathy, trust and cooperation
Plus, connecting with others is just enjoyable, fun and feels good! And, it’s free!
Consider these connection ideas
- Focus in, don’t be distracted and really pay attention during conversations with your partner, your kid, your coworkers
- Text an old friend that you haven’t seen in awhile just to check in.
- Do a favour or help someone
- Make an effort to introduce yourself to your neighbours
- Do something nice or unexpected
- Invite someone you like but don’t know well yet to hang out
- Buy a coffee for the next person in line at the drive-through
- Reminisce with family or friends
- Make eye contact and say hi to a stranger that you pass while out on a walk
- Hold a door open for someone
- Even when you are on your own, just remembering or thinking about time spent with friends or family can help you feel more connected
- Thinking, imagining or planning for when you will be together with others in the future can also keep up the connection in your mind and bring you happiness
- Teach your kids to focus on others in real life. They should be able to make eye contact, use gestures, carry on a conversation and put down their phone
Resources About Staying Connected
Wondering what’s happening this summer? Check out these organizations:
- Woolwich Counselling
- KW Counselling
- Kitchener Public Library
- Cambridge Public Library
Need Some Help?
For urgent matters call 911 or go to your local emergency room
Here 24/7: 1-844-437-3247
Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 or text “CONNECT” to 686868
Front Door: 519 749 2932, and press “1”
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