5 Reasons Why Connection Is Good for You
Connection makes you feel groovy. Human beings are designed to form deep, lasting, nurturing attachments to others. Caring for and engaging with others causes spikes in the levels of oxytocin (a bonding hormone that causes feelings of relaxation and contentment) and depresses levels of testosterone (an aggression hormone). Connection also improves your self-confidence and self-worth, helps you cope with stress and traumas such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one, and encourages you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits such as excessive drinking, poor diet or a lack of exercise and movement.
Connection makes you as happy or happier than the super-rich. Scientific studies have discovered that it takes a very great deal of money to produce the happiness that comes with being a member of a caring community with a strong sense of place. The study found that while those on Forbes magazine’s list of richest Americans had an average happiness score of 5.8, individuals from groups of people with modest lifestyles and strength of community were equally happy: the Pennsylvania Amish (5.8), the Inuit of Northern Greenland (5.9), and a traditional herding people from East Africa called the Masai (5.7) are just some examples.
Connection gives a better boost to your health than juicing, a gluten-free diet and a gym membership combined. Socially isolated people are more susceptible to illness and have a death rate two to three times higher than those who are not socially isolated. Studies have shown that loneliness and a lack of a secure and nurturing environment can trigger high cholesterol, increase a person’s heart rate and blood pressure, increase a person’s susceptibility to stress, and suppress the immune system. Conversely, when people have a secure and highly nurturing environment, they develop brain circuitry that helps them cope well with stress and bond easily with others. Modern research confirms that marriage (the most basic form of connection) is indeed good for you and adds 7 years to a man’s life and 2 years to a woman’s life (better results than most medical treatments).
Connection helps you enjoy your work and makes annoying co-workers slightly more tolerable. Research shows that sociability between co-workers creates a more pleasant work environment in which people are more likely to put in extra effort to complete tasks, demonstrate more creativity, be generally more productive, be more likely to be loyal to their employer and less defensive to criticism received from coworkers and superiors.
Connection gives you brain power. Scientists have discovered proof that the evolution of intelligence and larger brain sizes can be driven by cooperation and teamwork. The more you are involved with other people, with other opinions, and other ideas, the more you will learn. You may not always agree with what you learn or find out, but by challenging your preconceived notions, you will either strengthen your own beliefs, or adapt, grow, and adopt new beliefs based on new information.