The health benefits associated with human connections is through the roof, so in order to gain access to those benefits, you have to allow yourself to create meaningful connections. According to research done on social neuroscience, it shows that “people who have more social support tend to have better mental health, cardiovascular health, immunological functioning, and cognitive performance.” Creating those relationships and fostering them is a great way to create a sustainable happiness in your life. It is true that “very happy people are highly social and tend to have strong relationships”, so let’s go through some practices you can implement to make meaningful connections that would ultimately make you live a healthier and happier life.
More Face-to-face Time, Less Screen-Time
The biggest enemy of creating genuine connections is the excessive use of technology. Be smart about your screen-time by figuring out how you can best use technology to nourish your connections instead of hindering them. For example, use Facebook to reach out to your friends and set up face-to-face time meetings. The truth is “ people who use electronic devices more tend to experience greater depression and worse mood” while people who engage in face-to-face interactions improve their mood and reduce depression. So next time you are in a social gathering, be aware and mindful of your phone usage.
Be adventurous. To create meaningful connections, do meaningful experiences. The more experiences you do, the more likely you would create meaningful connection because experiences allow you to have an intimate environment in which you are vulnerable to share personal stories. These experiences are significant because they enable you to put yourself out there and meet those potential meaningful connections.
Once you have allowed yourself to meet those potential meaningful connections, it is time to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is very powerful when it comes to creating meaningful connections. It serves as the door that people have to go through to really see you for who you are. It is important to let people in and see you because only then can those connections flourish. Being vulnerable isn’t easy, but the outcome is worth it. Next time, be vulnerable with someone and see how your perspective on vulnerability shifts from seeing it as weakness to seeing as a weapon to feel powerful and a whole.
We spend time on things that are important to us, so investing time into connections you have makes it that much more important and meaningful. Focus on the connections that you want to foster, and show those connections that you are committed and that you are giving them your most valued asset: time.
Happiness is being socially connected, so focus on nurturing those social connections to take advantage of all the health benefits associated with it. The payoff is substantial so put the effort and time to be more present, adventurous, and vulnerable to make those meaningful connections.