We always read about the importance of diet and exercise on the heart, but we never read about the importance of human connection and how it supports our whole health. We need human connection, and connecting with others can help us live healthier, more fulfilling lives.
What is human connection?
Human connection is the experience we create by creating closeness and the purpose of having beneficial, healthy relationships with the people in our life. Human connection happens when we have the ability to interact with two or more people, and everyone in the interaction feels appreciated, valued, and heard. This type of communication leaves us feeling important and fulfilled afterward. The best way to create human connection is:
- A hug after a tough day
- Having coffee with a friend
- Grabbing lunch with someone
- Watching a movie
- An intimate vacation
- A daily walk or workout
Why is human connection important?
We often don’t realize how important human connection is until we have to go without it during times like the beginning of Covid-19. It is easy to be busy and not realize that we need to make time to connect outside of social media, zoom, or over the phone. By making time for human connection, we can achieve a better mental state to improve our overall mental health and live a longer, more fulfilled life. Keep reading to learn about more of the benefits of human connection:
- Better emotional health
- Live longer
- Happier life
- Better mental health
An important part of human connection is Oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone.” Oxytocin can help us bond with loved ones and can be released through touch, music, and exercise. (Oxytocin: The love hormone – Harvard Health, 2022) Our bodies produce Oxytocin when we fall in love, exercise, sing, get a massage, or simply receive a hug. This can help decrease the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
There is no right or wrong time to engage in human connection, but it is the key to living a longer and happier life. Human connection doesn’t look the same for everyone, and everyone won’t connect in the same way. If you have trouble connecting or finding ways that fit your lifestyle, it is okay to discuss this with your doctor.
Harvard Health. 2022. Oxytocin: The love hormone – Harvard Health. [online] Available at: <https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/oxytocin-the-love-hormone> [Accessed 25 May 2022].