Connection Matters

What do you think your child’s school or play time, Zoom, Chai-pe-charcha sessions, the Nokia logo, hugs, online dating apps, customer helpline numbers, the Internet, spiritual groups etc. have in common?

Think about it…

Whether internal or external; social or spiritual; physical or virtual; the need for humans to connect, hasn’t been more relevant or necessary.

A smile, a laugh, a hug. It really is the perfect kind of drug!

“No Man Is an Island” and John Donne’s concept that man is a social being, that he needs the contact and interactions with others rings true today than ever before. It is now July 2020, and we are in the midst of a great pandemic from the CoronaVirus COVID-19. Everyone in the world or most everyone has been isolated from others, told to not go to work to stay at home, we have to think twice before we instinctively stretch our hands out for a shake or a hug, most of us haven’t stepped out of our neighbourhoods in months and we are starting to see the effects of it. As we’ve been forced to practice social distancing during the past few months, people have realized how much they crave human connection. Not being able to dine with friends, see family members (who don’t live with you), watch movies in cinema theatres, or interact with co-workers has put a strain on the human spirit.

Like our primate ancestors, we learn by watching and interacting with others. The human connect in the form of social interaction plays a crucial role in learning. Interacting with other people has proven to be effective in assisting the learner to organize their thoughts, reflect on their understanding, and find gaps in their reasoning.

For sure, it is important for our mental health. Maintaining a social connect helps us to cope with major life changes like a job change, moving house, a divorce or any personal loss. An important psychological factor, coping, with the negative aspects of our lives and thinking more positively becomes that much easier knowing that we are valued by others. Any brief, positive interaction — whether it’s with your spouse, a friend or an Uber driver you just met — can be equally as important as the next!

Studies site evidence linking a low quantity or quality of social connect with a host of physical or physiological condition as well, including the development or worsening of cardiovascular diseases, hormonal or autoimmune disorders, high blood pressure, slow wound healing and even cancer!

It is therefore, becoming increasingly clear that our biological responses to the outside world are stronger than we once thought. Hormones associated with love and social connections can light up our nervous system and give us a health boost. The results run deep in the body, down to the very rhythm of our hearts.

Everything points out to the same fact – the human connect is powerful and that we depend on it!

The novel coronavirus pandemic is a thief. Among the things, it snatches away are the connections that feed passion, contentment, belonging, and all the other variations of love.” – The Washington Post.  

Given the current situation however, it has become increasingly difficult to find ways to be in the physical presence of our friends, family and colleagues, unfortunately, when we need it most. It is upon us, to find innovative ways to make that connect. Whether it online group meditation sessions, Cooking sessions, Pass-it-forward Story-telling groups, Zoom Antaksharis, online self-help groups, you name it, the list of methods to stay in touch are endless. So, let’s do our bit …a short message or a heartfelt phone call, a silly WhatsApp forward or a new recipe, every effort counts.

Let’s safeguard the all-round health of ourselves and our loved ones.

Stay in touch, stay connected!

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