June 18, 2024

WIRED FOR HUMAN CONNECTION

The Magic of Human Connection: Why Social Activity & Community Are Essential to Our Wellbeing

By Carmen Greger

In a world seemingly dominated by screens and isolated pursuits, it’s easy to forget the true essence of human nature: we are intrinsically social beings. Our lives are not solely about personal achievements and individual experiences, but they are interwoven tales of collective journeys, shared memories, and interdependent dreams. When we truly internalize the importance of being socially active, connected, and integrated with humankind, we unlock the richness of life. We humans are truly wired for connection.

Friendships, family, and community aren’t just feel-good aspects of our lives – they’re fundamental to our health and happiness. The magic, as they say, is in the people.

The Lethality of Loneliness

Studies consistently show that loneliness can be lethal. A research report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine revealed that social isolation has been linked to a significantly increased risk of premature mortality from all causes, including heart disease, stroke, and even dementia. Life, with all its joys, trials, and tribulations, was meant to be shared and celebrated.

The “No Man Is An Island” Principle

“No man is an island,” wrote the poet John Donne. It’s a timeless reminder that we thrive when connected to others. Just as islands are part of larger landmasses beneath the sea, we are all part of a larger human continuum. Our very biology demonstrates this: from the neurons in our brains that fire in response to social interactions, to the oxytocin released during moments of human connection, we are literally wired for community.

Finding Your Tribe

Engaging in healthy activities with a like-minded community not only nourishes our bodies but also our souls. Everyone has a unique story, lesson, or insight to offer. Sharing these with others can create a beautiful tapestry of shared experiences. Here are ten wonderful ways to foster such connections:

  • Health Clubs: Whether it’s for a yoga class or a spin session, joining a health club fosters both physical and social well-being.
  • Book Clubs: Dive deep into literature and share interpretations and perspectives with fellow bookworms.
  • Environmental Clubs: Bond over the shared love for Mother Earth and participate in activities to protect her.
  • HSA (Home School Association) Club: A wonderful way for parents to connect and share homeschooling resources, experiences, and ideas.
  • Knitting Circles: Knit, crochet, and weave your way into friendships.
  • Cooking Classes: Share recipes, stories, and meals with fellow food enthusiasts.
  • Local College Classes: Dive into a new subject and meet people who share your passion for learning.
  • Volunteer Groups: Serve the community and bond over the shared goal of making a difference.
  • Spiritual Gatherings: Engage in discussions on faith, life, and the universe.
  • Art Workshops: Paint, sculpt, and create art in a communal environment.

A World Waiting to Connect

There’s a vast world out there filled with people and creatures eager to connect with you. When we root ourselves in goodness, hope, faith, love, peace, service, and spirituality, we not only benefit ourselves but ripple positivity throughout the community.

Remember, every single person matters. Everyone has a unique light to shine, a lesson to impart, or a hand to lend. So, whether you’re lending that helping hand or reaching out for one yourself, embrace the beauty of human connection.

Our lives are not just a series of individual moments but a symphony of shared experiences, emotions, and aspirations. The profound understanding of our interconnectedness and shared humanity is the key to a fulfilling life. As you journey forward, let the pull of human connection guide you. Dive into the beauty of community, celebrate shared moments, and remember, the real magic lies in the people around us.