12 April 2022
As human beings are wired to be social creatures, and neuroscience highlights that our brains are fundamentally wired to form relationships and communities with others. The neural networks in our brains that process social experience are intertwined with those that process physical threats, and research shows that lack of social connection is far more detrimental to our health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure.
The third pillar of Korn Ferry’s personal energy and wellbeing framework is social connection, which is our preference around how one derives energy from their interactions with others.
People who feel more connected to others have lower levels of anxiety and depression, higher self esteem, greater empathy for others and are more trusting. Therefore others are more open to trusting and cooperating with them and generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical well-being.
However, it’s not the size of the circle or frequency but rather depth and quality of connections and research shows that social connection is a significant source of meaning, self confidence, and self worth.
We are hardwired to connect with others, it's what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.
On a personal level, this is something I have certainly felt more with the ongoing pandemic and below are 3 key strategies that have been effective.
A powerful way to deepen social connections. Collaborating with others helps develop our empathy, compassion, and effective communication skills. Find ways to build in collaboration into your work on a daily basis.
Research shows that giving results in deeper, more positive social integration, enhanced meaning and purpose, and positive emotions. Find ways to volunteer, provide active support to others, or offer an ear to someone in need.
Research has found that when we develop compassion, we increase our positive emotions and improve our health. It can cultivates a deep, heartfelt wish for the happiness and wellbeing of others and when we become more empathetic, compassionate, and attentive, we foster stronger cultures of respect, support and trust, resulting in stronger, healthier, and more rewarding relationships. Find ways to show compassion to the people around you everyday.