Wired to Connect…
“We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives and without it there is suffering.” —Brené Brown
In a recent conversation with Krista Tippett of On Being, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, Surgeon General, spoke about the importance of connecting with others to help address the epidemic of loneliness and isolation that so many suffer from.
Research supports that even a few minutes a day connecting with others can have a powerful positive impact on our health and life expectancy while lessening the sense of loneliness.
Dr. Murthy sees the impact of loneliness to be so harmful that CNN reported this morning on his new Advisory on this epidemic and the National Strategy to Advance Social Connection!
“While loneliness engenders despair and ever more isolation, togetherness raises optimism and creativity. When people feel they belong to one another their lives are stronger, richer, and more joyful.” —Vivek H. Murthy
Is there someone you can reach out to today to say, “Hello, I’ve been thinking about you”? Even if they’re unable to talk right then, the effort of reaching out is felt by both of you and can begin to make a difference (especially if it turns into a habit).
My personal challenge is to call, text, or email one friend I haven’t spoken to recently every day this week (and then marinate in the connections happening on Saturday at our Joyful Reunion). What can you do to strengthen your social connections?
Even if you’re not lonely, chances are someone you meet today or consider a friend is in need of a deeper connection. From a smile as you look into their eyes to the gift of a few minutes of attentive listening, you are giving a priceless gift to another and nurturing yourself at the same time.
May you be inspired to stretch beyond your comfort zone to create a new habit of connecting with people more often. And may the benefits to your overall wellbeing be so noticeable you can’t help but keep the connections building!
Many thanks to Kathleen Davis for reminding me to check out this interview with Dr. Murthy and John Fassnacht for pointing me to the CNN report. I can’t wait to learn more about this wise, inspiring man. Another reason to be hopeful about our future!
Quality Over Quantity
“What often matters is not the quantity or frequency of social contact but the quality of our connections and how we feel about them.”
― Vivek H. Murthy
Connecting with Yourself
“Connection with yourself only comes in moments of silence.”
― Bryant McGill
A Different Kind of Connection
“Eventually I discovered that the oak tree and I had a unique relationship. I could sit, my back against its trunk, and feel the same peace that would come to me in my bed at night. I could reach down into the quiet places of my spirit, take out my bruises and joys, unfold them and talk about them. I could talk aloud to the oak tree and know that I was understood.”
― Howard Thurman
When you know a conversation with a friend would help but aren’t ready to talk with people, remember friends come in many different forms.