“Resonant relationships are like emotional vitamins, sustaining us through tough times and nourishing us daily,” writes Daniel Goleman in Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships.
I caught up with some friends over face time recently (you know, our new norm) and after talking to them I realized the energy changed from the beginning of our conversation to when we were hanging up and saying our good-bye's. After hanging up, the conversation kept going on through text & we all realized that after talking to each other we felt happier & lighter, we felt......good. I had this same experience a few more times that week which got me thinking.
Why is social connection so important? What are the benefits of it & why is it needed?
I don't know about you but before reconnecting with my friends, it was easier for me to let days go by & keep to myself. I realized I wasn't really talking to who I used to talk to on a regular basis. Sure we'd like each other's social posts & occasionally slide into each other's DMs but there was no real connection. So I decided to do a deep dive and look into social connection & why it's important.
Here are three things I learned:
1. Mental Health: According to Mind Wise Solutions, some mental health benefits are increased feelings of belonging, purpose, increased levels of happiness, reduced levels of stress, improved self-worth and confidence. A study conducted at a free health clinic in Buffalo, New York found that respondents with insufficient perceived social support were the most likely to suffer from mental health disorders like anxiety and depression.
After we all connected, one of the things we all said was how good we felt. And I was definitely happier hearing about all the amazing things happening in their lives and I'm gonna add that being able to vent to each other reduced our stress lol.
2. Emotional health: The Greater Good Science Center Magazine from Berkley says that everyday activities involving the most positive emotions are sex and socializing.
I've definitely felt good after both lol so I'll say this is true.
3. Builds Resilience: Resilience is the ability to bounce back after you've experienced something difficult or very stressful. Having supportive relationships around you can help with how resilient you are. Magellan Health Insights say that the more positive your relationships are, the better you’ll be able to face life’s challenges.
I tend to be an optimistic person but on those not so good days, thinking back, having the support of some amazing people did make it easier for me to bounce back from things I wasn't if or how I'd be able to bounce back.
So if you find yourself in a position of whether or not you should reach out to someone & have the strength or will to do it, I think you should. That person you're thinking about might really need you. And my experience has been, I'll always leave a conversation feeling better then I did when I got on the phone. Whether it was hearing them release & being an outlet for them to vent or me releasing something I didn't even know was bothering me, we all benefit =)
This also led me to take inventory of the relationships I have in my life. I took a look at the different types of relationships I've been blessed to have. Some play closer roles than others at different points in our lives. The ones who pick your spirits up when you talk to them, those are the ones I'm keeping close. They're the ones who allow you to be, and are openly waiting for you when you're ready because they understand that SHIT! Life is really hard sometimes! And don't get me wrong, just because I'm acknowledging that it's hard doesn't mean that I can't or I'm not enjoying the journey it means that I'm living it and feeling it with my eyes & arms wide open.
Thanks for making it to the end of this post! I appreciate your time.
Till next time!