Fostering Connection — The Practical Side
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? If you are an introvert, you energize yourself by spending time alone. Extroverts, on the other hand, feel refreshed and rejuvenated after spending time with others. Personally, I think I am almost equal parts introvert and extrovert. But, no matter what personality type you may be, study after study shows that human beings need relationships and are healthier emotionally and physically when they have healthy support systems.
Introverts may not spend as much time with members of their support systems, but they benefit from personal, reliable and intimate relationships no less than extroverts. In the same vein, as people grow older, they are more likely to live longer and have better quality of lives if they have people in their lives they can count on and spend time with regularly.
Science has proven over and over that human beings are created for connection and relationships. I want to be clear here and say “relationships” do not just mean having lunch with your co-workers each day, playing on a men’s sports team at the Y for fun after work, or attending a neighborhood book club. When I say we are created for connection and relationships I mean this: human beings both need and benefit from intimate emotional relationships in which they feel safe, heard and accepted–relationships in which they can share both their deepest fears and wildest dreams. Human beings need reliable and available individuals that support them in each and every season of life. When individuals create and foster these kinds of relationships they benefit emotionally, physically and even spiritually in ways others who do not have these types of relationships cannot.
In the personal blog on this topic I will list some specific ways to foster connection in your life. But for now, I would like you to take inventory of your current life relationships. Ask yourself the following questions:
1) What does a healthy and meaningful relationship look like?
2) Do I have at least one person in my life who makes me feel safe, heard and accepted and is available when I need them most?
3) How can I foster deep, meaningful connections with others in my life?
4) Do I regularly engage in activities that foster mental, emotional, spiritual and physical connection in my life?
Positive relationships are essential to emotional health. If you are feeling alone, or struggling with stress, depression or anxiety, a licensed mental health counselor can provide the support you need to start you on your path to healing. An Orlando counselor will provide a safe and emotionally supportive environment where you can process your feelings and together formulate a plan for the future so that you can experience life to its fullest. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled individual, couples’, children or family therapists.