March 17, 2023

Why do we Need Connection for Good Mental Health?

‘No one man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent’ John Donne

Written by

Nicole Biggs

Feeling connected is really important for good mental health. Humans are social creatures. We evolved living in family units off the land, and then in societies. We do not thrive without connection. We need several types of connection to have good physical and mental health:

‘No one man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent’ John Donne

Connection to Other People

The most obvious form of connection we need is to one another. If we are deprived of connection with others, we can often become lonely, isolated, and sad. The COVID lockdown was a stark reminder of this. Even the most die hard of introverts needs human interaction and connection.

The best way to connect to one another is face to face. This is when we get the full experience and maximum benefit from human interaction. We get to communicate fully; with words, actions, body language, energies or vibes, other subconscious cues, smells … the whole 3D effect.

However, our modern life is increasingly insular. We often find it difficult to reach out and connect to others. We only connect with people online, and these connections can be quite superficial. We are increasingly working from home, which means that we do not have the interaction associated with a workplace. Leisure pursuits are increasingly solo affairs like computer gaming, binge watching series. We therefore often now have to make an additional effort to connect with others.

Exercise can be a great way to meet people. This can be as simple as meeting your neighbours when you are out walking the dog around the block or weeding in your garden. In addition, exercise often means joining clubs or societies, where people socialise and connect with one another.

Interests and hobbies can also be a great way to meet people. Join a club, group, class or society.

Making yourself go into the office occasionally is also a great way to connect with colleagues. Although online meetings are great, nothing can beat that face-to-face interaction.

Connection to a Tribe

It is also important that we connect with like minded people, and we find our tribe. We all need a sense of belonging. We need to be understood and appreciated, validated as a person.

Our tribe could be our family, however increasingly people are feeling disconnected from the family.

This could be our community, however our sense of community is rapidly disappearing in our modern world. Neighbours often do not even know one another, let alone look out for one another. Our modern world means that people relocate often and so do not build those community links.

Increasingly people are looking online to find their tribe. This is great as it is a lifeline for those who are marginalised and misunderstood like the LGBTQ+ community. However, nothing replaces the total connection of meeting people face to face.

There is however a problem with just connecting with people in your one tribe. You can become quite insular and closed minded if you are not careful. Remember that we can (and should) be members of several tribes at the same time.

Connection to the Environment

We are intricately connected to the planet and our surroundings. We often forget this in our large metropolitan areas. It is easy to forget that we are dependent on the resources that the earth provides for us, that we are part of a delicate and complicated ecosystem.

Don’t worry, this is not going to be a rant on environmentalism (as tempting as it may be)!

We need connection to our environment. We need to see the sun, feel the breeze, listen to the rain. If we are deprived of access to the outside, to our surroundings, our mental health decreases rapidly.

Everyone’s connection to their environment is different. For me, I love nature and need to go out into it at least once a week to be happy, healthy and balanced. However, you may not need this. You may be happy with visiting a park, going for a drive, exploring cities.

I would therefore urge everyone to explore their sense of connection. It is essential that you are part of something, that you belong, that you feel connected. Learn to nurture and maintain your good connections, and recognise which connections are not good for you.

For more information, or just a chat, please contact me on 07742 209312 or nicole@greenoaktherapies.co.uk

Other Articles

New 10 Week Hypnotherapy Weight Loss Course

Starting soon