Have you ever felt self-absorbed in a spiral of stress and overwhelm?
In theses cases, how prone are you to reach out to a friend or a loved one? Living in a culture focused in a hustle attitude of productivity can be hard to prioritize human connection. I know how difficult this can be. As a woman in my twenties living in a city and trying to fulfill my career aspirations, I tend to isolate. It is easy to forget that the essential part of life does not rely in what I achieve but in the quality of my moments spent on earth. That is why I was fascinated to realize that the times that I spent sharing with others would work as a fuel for my creativity and mental energy.
To my surprise, I would find myself working in a happier mood after having lunch with a good friend or experiencing an amazing flow of new ideas after a nurturing talk with my mom. Contrary to my initial thoughts, instead of feeling drained or tired after socializing I would feel more joyful and energized! In case you wonder, yes, I am an introverted person. So I knew this was not a matter of temperament or an extroverted personality trait. So I did some research and this is what I found.
Reasons to get out of yourself:
1) Brain Booster
According to recent studies in neuroscience, our brain needs social connection as much as it needs air, water, and food. We are wired to connect and the lack of interaction can have several negative effects in our over all health. Some research shows that loneliness is as unhealthy as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or being an alcoholic!
2) Creativity Enhancer
Brene Brown, an author, researcher, and expert in vulnerability affirms that “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change” The fact is that innovation and creativity are interactive activities. Unless you want to hide your artistic talents forever, sooner or later you will have to be vulnerable and share them with the world. The more you are used to connect with others and find a supportive community, the less terrifying it will be to put yourself out there and share your gifts.
3) Survival Instincts
Fact: The mammal brain is wired to connect with others. Not because it craves that mushy feeling of love, but because is a basic survival instinct! Back in the time if you did not have a tribe to protect you from the dangers of nature you could consider yourself done. Although in the present we do not have to be afraid of encountering a tiger on our way home, is still essential to have a network of people in whom we can rely to hold our back during difficult times. By nurturing these bonds we prevent the instinctual anxiety and fear that comes from being a loner in the jungle of life.
In conclusion, connecting with others is key and necessary for every area of our life. However, is good to remember that quality is important. Just as we do not want to nurture our bodies with junk food, we do not want to lose our precious time in toxic relationships. This type of socialization would have the opposite effect of what we just explored. So use your intuition and emotional intelligence to discern with whom you want to connect. Remember, your relationships are one of your most important investment.
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