One of the most important areas of our lives is human connection. Without human connection our lives are simply unsatisfying and may feel empty. When we are not connecting on a regular basis with others it can lead to loneliness, isolation, depression and illness.
Our lives are busier than ever. Many of us feel overwhelmed and stressed due to the demands that we face on a daily basis. Often we are so busy getting things done that we can overlook one of life’s most important gifts: connecting with others.
Make time to connect with others a priority on a daily basis. Review your day and see where you can fit in more time to relate to others. For example calling or emailing a friend before work can make all the difference in starting your day on a positive note. Taking a break at lunchtime to connect with co-workers not only affects your mood but can also lead to a more productive workday. Getting to know your colleagues will help to build a more effective team as well as promote creative ideas.
Leave a note for a colleague or a friend or family member letting them know how much you appreciated something that they did for you. Or give them a compliment. Acknowledging others can change their day and yours too.
In the evening, sit with your spouse, partner or child and without any distractions ask them how their day was. Listen to what they say. If he or she has had difficult or challenging day, talking about it can help to release some of the stress around it. Feeling understood and cared about can turn a mood around from negative to positive.
Challenge yourself to make 3 meaningful connections a day. Do this for a week and look back at your connections at the end of 7 days. You can even keep a log of the connections that you made over the past week. Your weekly review can have a positive impact on the way you view your life. Feeling the closeness of others most often results in a happier and more fulfilling life.
Connecting is one of the most valuable tools we have. Do you want more tools to improve connections and making friends? There are many books, websites and audio programs that can help you to improve the quality of connecting and build stronger relationships. There are social skills groups online or through mental health professionals. Taking a step to improve your relationships will result in building skills that will be used for a lifetime.
Written by Jennifer Eckert, LICSW
Boston Post Adoption Resources