On this show….we are talking about teamwork and the power of connections. Even though being self-sufficient and independent might be A goal it’s not THE goal. We need each other to survive and thrive... and guess what, our soul craves each other. So before you strike out on your own, making your journey to self-discovery a solo mission, settle in as we talk about why creating a healthy network of friends, family, and acquaintances is the only way to travel!
Teamwork makes you think of business but we are talking about relationships with family and friends and the need for connection.
Friends are important. So important, in fact, that it’s been proven that friendship can extend life expectancy and lower chances of heart disease. Friendship helps us survive. Part of why that is has to do with what happens in our brains when we interact with other humans: a 2011 study detailed the role of the neurobiological endogenous opioid system (the stuff in our brains that make us feel good) in positive social relationships; in 2016, researchers found evidence of the release of oxytocin in primate brains during social interactions; and later that year, psychologists conducted a study that suggested levels of pain tolerance can predict how many friends someone has.
At one point we needed each other to survive, really survive - it was the buddy system. You watch my back while I forage for food or you help me build this shelter and provide a different perspective to my ideas. Obviously today, the same threats and challenges don’t exist but our wiring still craves others.
“The surprising finding is that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships have a powerful influence on our health,” Robert Waldinger, a psychiatrist, and professor at Harvard Medical School told The Harvard Gazette in 2017. “Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too. That, I think, is the revelation.”
“Our study has shown that the people who fared the best were the people who leaned into relationships, with family, with friends, with community,” Waldinger said in the TED Talk.
There has to be a healthy balance. Creating and maintaining healthy relationships shouldn’t feel like another thing on your to-do list, working out, eating healthy, and making friends. It should feel satisfying and rewarding which would motivate you to seek that kind of feeling on a regular basis. I love to blow young people’s minds by telling them about a time when people would “visit”. You know stop by, or pop in, or better yet, a scheduled get-together. I think first they are amazed that you would actually spend a whole afternoon talking with someone. When you can send 5 to 10k abbreviated messages a month, an afternoon with the same person seems like a waste of time!
Sharing is so important, so let’s talk about it - What do we share?
- Experiences and Discoveries
- Thoughts and Opinions
- Feelings, concerns, reactions
- Allocating priorities, commitments
- Dreams and Vision
How do we share:
- By spending time together
- By coordinating and organizing
- Through allocating and doing the work, tasks
- By discussing and communicating
- By providing a reality check, another pair of ears
- Through vision and visualization
- Through defining problems and finding and testing solutions
- Through unconscious mirroring
When you find trust, honest, support, and love from a spouse, a long-time friend, or a new acquaintance, nurture that relationship. Make it a priority within your life. If you’ve become complacent and closed off, take this time and an opportunity to open yourself up to the possibilities of a new relationship. Reach out and ask for inclusion and networking. You aren’t the only one with the craving.
CHALLENGE: reach out, in person and schedule some time to get caught up on the lives of those you love. Make room and a real effort to invite more people into your fold. Share, learn, and grow in the love of a strong and supportive network. There is no better investment.
I Know YOU Can Do It!