Let’s Talk About It - The Power of Connection

Posted by Rebecca Velline on 1/19/2023

The opposite of addiction is connection. This is my favorite phase in the chemical health field. I have witnessed the power of connection in many of my clients throughout the years. Why is this an important topic currently? Throughout the winter months, it is difficult to feel motivated to go on social outings and outdoor activities. This can lead to the winter months feeling more isolating, resulting in increased substance use. Furthermore, COVID-19 has made socialization more difficult in the last few years.
A growing wealth of research demonstrates that social connection is as vital a need as our requirements for food, water, and shelter. Humans are hardwired to be inherently social creatures, and this has ensured our survival and evolution. We are more socially connected than any other animal on the planet.

Tips for improving human connection:

  • Schedule time consistently to spend with friends and family. Scheduling plans makes it easier to follow through. 
  • Find others with similar interests can be instrumental in developing authentic relationships with others. 
  • We thrive on community support and kindness and emotional connection boost self-esteem, self-value, and confidence.

What does the research say?

  • Numerous studies have evidenced that people with strong, positive connections live healthier, happier, and longer lives. A 2010 study indicated that people with strong social relationships were 50% more likely to survive than those without. 
  • Positive social networks play a key role in our overall well-being and physical and mental health. 
  • Research demonstrates that feeling connected and supported to others can help:
    • Maintain a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI).
    • Decrease cancer risk.
    • Control blood sugars.
    • Improve cardiovascular mortality.
    • Decrease the risk of depression.
    • Reduce stress levels.

Developing healthy interpersonal connections takes effort, willingness, and commitment. On average, it takes about two months to create a new healthy habit. So, give yourself grace when attempting these new healthy habits.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Anoka-Hennepin Chemical Health Prevention Specialists for more resources: ahschools.us/chemicalhealth.