One of Our Most Valuable Investments – Social connections
Every day it seems like I have so much work I want to get done for my business and around the house. Products I want to create. Proposals I need to write. Marketing, paperwork, filing, sorting, follow-ups… not to mention normal housework waiting to get done. Yet, I’m intentional about taking time to connect with friends. It’s so tempting to say, “No, sorry. I have too much to do.” Sometimes I struggle more than others because it feels self-indulgent to take time away from things I think I “should” be doing instead. But I’ve learned from Positive Psychology and personal experience that the time I purposely set aside to spend with my wonderful friends is so important. It fuels my soul, charges my battery, and awakens my heart. I learn and grow when I’m with my friends. Since I am an introvert, I prefer to meet with them one on one. We may chat while hiking or over a cup of tea. We share our hopes and dreams, our struggles, and catch up on our daily lives. I know this is valuable time that I’m investing in my wellbeing, and I’m always glad I took the time to connect with them.
Studies show that having strong social networks is important for both our physical and mental wellbeing. One study showed that not having quality social connections is harder on our health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure. Other research suggests that strong social connections can increase our longevity by 50%. More and more research demonstrates that we are very social creatures. We may think we want more money, power, fame, or beauty, but at the root of most of these desires is our human need to belong and connect with others.
Remember, whether it’s just stopping by someone’s desk to ask about their day, making plans for lunch or the weekend, or picking up the phone for a quick chat, you are investing in your social networks and your quality of life.
For more details, check out this article.
Tina Hallis, Ph.D., is founder and owner of The Positive Edge, a company dedicated to helping individuals and organizations increase their positivity to improve the quality of people’s work lives and the quality of company cultures.