The Beatles taught us many things through their music, including that we can get by with a little help from our friends. But did you know that social connectedness is absolutely critical to our resilience and overall wellbeing? Surrounding ourselves with people who not only offer a perspective and emotional support, but also reflect back our values and strengths, can help us maintain our resolve during tough times. Life can be super-stressful, but nurturing a diverse array of relationships can make even the most challenging circumstances more bearable.
Did you know?
Research has shown that social connectedness is at least as important for your health as regular exercise or eliminating nasties such as smoking.
How to build social connectedness:
- Make the effort to schedule quality time with family and friends. Clear space in your diary for a meal, a movie or a marathon (running or Netflix) with the people you love.
- Find your tribe! Joining a community group to meet people with common interests is a fast way to make meaningful connections. Volunteer for a charity or a cause that’s close to your heart, or try a group fitness activity.
- Tend to your existing relationships. Maybe check in on someone you haven’t spoken to for a while. Checking in on loved ones, no matter the (physical or emotional) distance, can help keep you grounded and connected to your support network.
- Learn more with ReachOut’s guide to the 7 different friends you’ll have in your life, 5 steps to talking to someone you trust and find out how to ask a friend if they’re okay.
- Social media has made the world much smaller, and it’s now a simple matter to keep tabs on your people. The downside is that it’s too easy to substitute a quick click for a more personal and meaningful connection. Commit to spending time with others offline and in real life.
I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship."- Brene Brown