Having a sense of connection and belonging with others is a fundamental human need. Did you know that social connection improves both mental and physical health? Human beings are wired to seek fulfillment through a sense of belonging and connection. When we feel connected, we discover the true power of healing it brings to our life and to others.
We currently live in a society where there is a vast sense of separation. Many feel isolated due to our fast paced and demanding lifestyles. We experience a void of emptiness. A longing for something we once had, but at the same time are unaware of what we are truly longing for.
Over time we have forgotten the true power of healing through connection. We have lost our sense of community, which in turn affects our perception of belonging, self-esteem and purpose. Humans are social beings; we cannot truly thrive without one another.
Our culture is currently facing a global mental health epidemic. Millions of people are medicated for anxiety and depression disorders. More people are being hospitalized and suicide rates are rapidly increasing at a terrifying rate.
What does mental health have to do with the power of healing through connection?
The answer is quite simple…
Separation = An increase in mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression
Connection = A sense of belonging and improvement in mental and physical health.
However, finding solutions in our fast paced and demanding culture is where this becomes complicated. And at times difficult to meet our deeper need for connection.
Author Johann Hari, traveled the world researching the psychological and environmental factors contributing to anxiety and depression that exist in our society today. In his book Lost Connections, he argues that a vast majority of the populations basic psychological human needs are not being met.
He delves into the deep sense of disconnection that many people are experiencing, which is contributing to the rise in mental health conditions. Hari investigates ways that humans are attempting to fill this void. Turning to things such as addiction or consumerism. He explores solutions for our strong sense of disconnection in today’s culture.
How to identify where you experience disconnection in your life.
When you experience disconnection, you feel a sense of lacking or detachment in your life. You may feel separated from others. Or maybe that your needs are not being met in a way that is fulfilling, or in line with your beliefs and values.
Have you ever experienced the common expression, “feeling alone in a crowded room?” This resonates with people because many try to fill the void of disconnection by putting themselves in social situations which don’t truly resonate with them. Therefore, you could be in a room with a thousand people but experience a profound sense of loneliness and disconnection.
The power of healing through connection, can only be achieved if you experience a sense of belonging. A sense of purpose and true acceptance. These connections must be in line with your inner needs and core values. In order for you to feel authentic connection.
Here are some questions you may wish to ask yourself to identify where you could be experiencing disconnection in your life.
- Do have relationships with people whom you feel ‘safe’ to talk openly and honestly about yourself without feeling judged?
- Do you have a supportive network of people around you who make you feel loved and accepted?
- Do you feel a sense of belonging in your community? A place you can connect with like-minded people.
- Do you have supportive people you can reach out to in times of need?
- If you are in an intimate relationship is it respectful, loving and supportive?
- Do you feel heard, valued and understood by those closest to you?
- Do you feel your beliefs, values and goals are supported by friends, family etc?
- Are you able to truly be yourself around those closest to you?
Take your time to answer the questions truthfully, and if you identify a sense of lacking in any of those areas, it may be that you are experiencing some form of disconnection in the relationships in your life.
Understanding how connection helps us heal
Positive connections with others has the ability to unlock a profound sense of healing, and it creates a ripple effect by nature. When people have the opportunity to speak their truth through connecting with others, it reinforces a strong sense of belonging and connection.
Connection is about give and take, it involves holding space for one another to safely voice opinions, beliefs, struggles, fears and dreams. True connection eliminates judgement and allows space for personal growth.
As a society, many are suffering from a loss of connection. In a world where we are constantly ‘connected’ by technology, we are becoming increasingly disconnected to each other. To real human connection.
The act of connecting with one another reminds us that we are not alone in the way we think, feel and view life. As humans, we need to feel a sense of belonging, a knowing that we are understood and valued.
The healing power of connection bridges the gap of separation. For example if someone is suffering during a difficult period in their life, perhaps from a break up or losing their job. If they are not able to connect with others to voice their fears or concerns, they may experience feelings of isolation and detachment.
But if they have a positive and strong connections in their life, this allows a safe space to heal with the support of others. People need to know that they can be heard and accepted without judgement.
How to develop positive connections in your life
Often people are afraid to speak their truth in fear of being judged by others. This is why honest and meaningful relationships are essential for our healing process. Many spend their lives suppressing their true feelings, because they fear that society may deem them as wrong or unacceptable.
But the truth is we all experience the same suffering and the same fears, just in different forms. The healing comes from the understanding that we are not alone. We are never the only one to think, feel or do things we view as ‘shameful’ or ‘bad.’ But our society has created many ‘rules’ which we feel we must conform to.
They key is developing positive connections with others and learning to bridge the gap of separation.
Here are some things to consider towards developing positive connections for yourself:
- Pay attention to the attitudes of those around you. Notice if you feel in a safe space to talk openly with others. If not question why? Maybe you are not surrounding yourself with people who truly resonate with you.
- Put yourself out there. Seek out like-minded people, community groups or spiritual retreats where you feel comfortable with those around you.
- Identify where you might be allowing others to hold you back from pursuing meaningful connections.
- Assess your own fears. What are you holding onto that might be stopping you from exploring deeper connections with others?
- Be kind to yourself. Know that you are worthy of meaningful connections in your life, and that you have a right to be heard and valued.
The true power of healing through connection, not only brings more joy to your life. But an immense sense of belonging, fulfillment and improvement in mental and physical well-being.
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