Social connection to others is vital to our emotional, mental, and physical health. For various reasons, though, we sometimes have trouble maintaining solid bonds with others, which can cause us to feel isolated and disconnected. A support system can provide us with care, help us succeed, and make life more enjoyable. While loneliness can have an impact on our daily lives, its effects can be reduced when we build fulfilling connections with others. If you’re feeling lonely, read this article on how you can develop healthy and deep relationships with others.
Why is social connection to others so important?
It was natural for us as humans to have social connection with others in order to express our emotions and feelings, as well as to share information.
Socializing with others provides health benefits such as a stronger immune system, improved memory, increased motivation for self-care, and lower levels of stress hormones.
Social connection to others not only staves off feelings of loneliness, but also helps sharpen memory and cognitive skills, increases your sense of happiness and well-being, and may even help you live longer. In-person is best, but connecting via technology also works.
Friendships and social connections provide emotional support to help you deal with life’s ups and downs. People who make you feel cared for, loved, and valued can make you more resistant to stress.
Social interaction also teaches us how to see ourselves through the eyes of others, and how to discover who we are and how we fit into the world around us.
Furthermore, in order to function successfully in society, we must learn the fundamentals of both material and nonmaterial culture, including everything from how to dress ourselves to what attire is appropriate for a specific occasion; when we sleep to what we sleep on; and what is considered appropriate to eat for dinner to how to use the stove to prepare it.
Most importantly, we must learn a language to communicate and think, whether it is the dominant language or one common in a subculture, whether verbal or through signs. A human without socialization literally has no self.
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Ways To Improve Social Connections
Go On Public To Improve Your Social Connection
For those who are not used to have social connection with others, confronting feelings of loneliness can be intimidating. So instead of putting yourself in a specific social situation in which you may not yet feel at ease, begin by going out into public places where you can be around people without necessarily having to interact.
Certainly being in the company of others can help you feel less lonely and prepare you for future social situations. And, if you do interact with another person, you might form an unexpected friendship. To begin, consider going to libraries, parks, downtown areas, or other public places where you’ll be surrounded by people.
See Also: Mayo Clinic Minute: The benefits of being socially connected
Engage In Group Activities
Another way to improve your social connection to others is by volunteering with a non-profit you support, joining a sports team, or looking for meetups for groups and organizations based on your interests, such as science clubs and other organizations that satisfy your interests. If there aren’t many meetup options in your area, you can even form your own group.
Strengthen Current Relationships
Also consider strengthening your social connection with a close relative, or a friend you’ve lost contact with, or a coworker you’d like to get to know better. You can contact some of these people in your life and ask if they want to meet for coffee or talk on the phone. You may end up with stronger bonds if you create opportunities for current relationships to grow.
Get To Know Yourself Better
If you don’t feel close to others, you might want to start by getting closer to yourself. Loneliness is associated with a negative self-image, according to research. Working on your relationship with yourself may therefore help you overcome some of the negative feelings you experience when you’re alone.
Spend some time delving deeper into your thoughts, beliefs, likes, opinions, and other aspects. This can be accomplished through regular journaling, mindfulness meditation, or working with a mental health professional. Consider nurturing your body and mind through self-care, celebrating your accomplishments, and forgiving yourself when you make mistakes. Having a positive self-image can help you feel better about yourself and others.
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Call For Professional Help
Loneliness is sometimes associated with a mental health condition, such as depression or social anxiety. Addressing the internal factors that contribute to loneliness may lead to stronger relationships in this case. A mental health professional can help you work through complicated emotions related to loneliness and give you advice on how to connect with others more effectively.