Connection with other people is fundamental to our happiness and wellbeing. Yet with the rise of digital technology and online social networking sites, you would think the opposite was true. The lack of face-to-face connection is having devastating effects on society, with social isolation and the loneliness epidemic reaching all time highs. On par with early death through cause of smoking and obesity. We can certainly reverse this negative impact and through very simple means increase our connectivity levels. Here are a few simple steps to get you started –
- CALL AN OLD FRIEND It’s automatic to text a friend or write a quick email between meetings at work, but there’s nothing quite like hearing someones voice when you actually take the time to pick up the phone and call them
- PAY SOMEONE A COMPLIMENT A stranger on the street, your boss or the local chemist. Whoever your path might cross with, make a point to give at least one compliment each and every day. You’ll be amazed at the positive impact a little kindness and small connection (even with a complete stranger!) will have on your mood
- SAY AN UNEXPECTED THANK YOU Unexpected thank yous are the most magical of all. When they least expect it, say thank you to a friend, colleague or even the tube driver. It’s these simples things (that too easily go unnoticed) which have the biggest influence on our wellbeing
- VOLUNTEER This might be at your local hospice or old people’s home, a soup kitchen or community centre. Giving up our time for the sake of others helps us feel good about ourselves and connected on a far deeper and more meaningful level than liking a post on Facebook!
- CONNECT WITH YOUR COMMUNITY Invite your neighbours round for a cup of tea and cake, or contact your local neighbourhood watch party. You might even set up a bric a brac on your lawn or introduce a book swap. There are plenty of ways to feel connected to your local community which will also help you to understand the larger picture and your place in society
- JOIN A NEW GROUP Sign up for a new class, join the local choir or try out a new exercise class. Group activities areca great way to make new friends, boost self-esteem and feel more connected to others