How to Connect to People
Human beings are sociable animals: we need relationships to to connect with people.
One of the most important external factors affecting our wellbeing is human relationships. Across all societies, family or other close relationships are deemed the most important, followed by relationships at school/work and the community (R. Layard, Happiness, 2011).
It has been scientifically proven that people with strong and broad social relationships are happier, healthier and live longer. Close relationships provide love, meaning, support and increase our feelings of self-worth and confidence. They can help you feel valued and offer a different perspective on things. Broader networks bring a sense of belonging. So taking action to strengthen your relationships and create new connections is essential for your wellbeing.
Together : Happier : Healthier
Better and more friendships means a healthier and happier life, and a better community to live in.
Humans are social creatures, and building social relationships and connecting with people are a vital part of developing and maintaining good mental health. There’s also evidence that wellbeing can be passed on through relationships and that being around people with positive mental wellbeing can actually improve our own mental wellbeing.
When you are busy working, studying, raising the kids, and juggling your hectic diary, it can be difficult to take the time to truly connect with other people, but there are a few things you can try to do regularly to benefit your mental health by developing your social relationships:
Smile at people, whether you know them or not
Talk to friends or family rather than emailing or texting them
Try talking to someone new, or someone you don’t usually talk to
Make an effort to ask how someone is feeling, then actually listen to their answer
Set some time aside to spend with your friends
Cultivate curiosity by asking questions and taking an active interest in what people have got to say – it can be transformative.
If you don’t feel that you have many supportive friends or family members around you and are feeling isolated, there are other ways you can make connections. For example, you could try joining a club or a society, or start volunteering.
Action for Happiness have more information and tips on how to connect to people