Updated: Jun 19, 2022
Studies show that if we connect with people - whether a stranger on a line, train, bus, plane etc. or people within our social circle - we increase our overall feeling of happiness. What's important is making the effort! Intentionally taking moments to reach out to another human daily can improve your health and help you live longer - my Mom is a great example!
Here's a story from my Mom's 90th Birthday Zoom in August 2020 when I gathered 8 of her girlfriends together (collectively they were 675 years in existence!)
"Karen and my mom have been friends for over 3o+ years and they shared they met on the line for the bathroom at a Broadway Show in NYC! And ~30 years later they still support each other, share emails, talk weekly - and if it were not for Karen's sharing of the "Mezuzah Joke"- my mom and I may not have had our #MrsCTellsJokes fun times during COVID-19! "
You just never know what one chance meeting can lead to! So say hello to someone, share a kind word or complement, have a short conversation (that may lead to a longer one) and I hope you find some extra "happy"! And you may just bring "happy" to the other people as well.
Ways that I stay connected with friends and family include:
Walk / Talks. On my lunch breaks I like to take a walk and have a talk with someone. Sometimes it's spontaneous and sometimes we set a "date".
Random acts of thoughtfulness. Send a text or card to someone you may not have heard from in a while or someone you know may be going through a lot and just let them know you thought of them and are there to provide support. You can scan thru past texts as a prompt or reminder!
Set up Zoom Connects. If you have access to Zoom, set up a group call for either "just because" or an occasion like someone's birthday - it's always nice just to see people and catch up for an hour, share stories and ideas.
Listen for Clues. As you go through your day, if you hear a song, or a quote or see something that reminders you of someone in your life, pause and take note who came into your mind or text them right there if time allows.
Morning Mindfulness. You can purposely decide that each morning you are going to think of someone to connect with that day. You can use some prompt like a rock or paperweight or coin, something you can pick up each morning and develop a morning habit of pausing to think of those in your life and who you may want to connect with that day!
For more information on Connectedness check out these resources:
Stanford Medicine: Connectedness & Health: The Science of Social Connection
Brenee Brown: Loneliness and Connection