The Happiness Connection  

You need to belong

Social connections are the relationships you have with the people around you. 

You can create connection with family and close friends, or you can create it with people you meet briefly, or see only occasionally.

Your network of connections may be big, or small; but it is important that you have one.

Why Humans are Wired to Connect

Just like the need we have for food and shelter, humans have a need to belong to a group, and to form relationships with others. Our bodies aren’t the quickest, or toughest in the animal world; humans survived by being able to work together. 

Our brains have been wired to be social, as this was vital for our survival in more primitive times.

Anthropologist Robin Dunbar discovered that the strongest predictor of a species’ brain size is the size of its social group. We have large brains so we can socialize, and survive. 

The Importance of Connection

Robustly happy people, tend to have strong connections with the people around them. Being robustly happy means you are resilient to challenges and change; your feelings of wellbeing can withstand difficult times.

If you want to maintain a positive attitude, it is important to know you can rely on the support, of your connections when times get tough. Believing that you aren’t alone is vital to feeling happy.

Remember that your connections will also be relying on you. Helping someone weather a storm, not only strengthens your bond, it also gives you a jolt of positivity. Doing something selfless for another person is one of the best ways to boost your happiness. 

Ways to Make More Social Connections

Be aware that positive connections can be made at any time in your day, if you look for opportunities. We are all attracted to feeling good, so attempt to connect in an upbeat way if possible.

  • Start a conversation with the cashier, or store clerk when you are shopping. Show that you are interested in them, and try to share a laugh, or smile. This is better than sharing a negative conversation.
  • Connect with a friend, or family member you haven’t been in touch with for a while.
  • Volunteer to help in your community, and take an interest in the people you interact with.
  • If you work with customers, make a connection with them by being interested in more than just selling them a service, or product. People like to do business with someone they feel connected to, so this is a good long term approach for your business, as well as for yourself.
  • Go for a walk; smile at each person you pass.
  • Make a thoughtful comment on a Facebook post, or give a genuine compliment to an Instagram photo. Connection can also take place in the virtual world.

I make a point of trying to connect, every time I am around other people. When I a hear that the consultant I am seeing is unfriendly, I take that as a challenge to make a connection. So far, my efforts have all been successful.

It doesn’t matter who you are, you need social connection to be happy. Connecting doesn’t mean you must be life-long friends; it may only last the length of your conversation, but it is good for everyone’s well-being. 

Try creating a bond with the people you interact with, and feel your happiness grow.

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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