We know it innately, human connection is at the core of our happiness and existence. Whether its a romantic relationship, a friendship, family or desire for community.. we know we need to be connected and connected in a meaningful way. One that supports us, loves us, reminds us we are whole. After reading this post from Prima, I felt the data and research could help us better understand this most important need to a happy human existence. Here is my favorite excerpt.
“We have genetically evolved to experience the tangible benefits of human connection, which include an increased feeling of belonging, purpose, happiness, self-worth and confidence. And studies across all mammals show that our well-being depends on our connections with others. Because of how we are wired to experience social pain and pleasure, meaningful human connection is a necessity, not a luxury.
There’s a region of the brain called the “medial prefrontal cortex” that sits between our eyes and is activated when we self-reflect. Several studies show that the same region of the brain is activated when we are influenced by the beliefs of others around us. What this means is that there is a part of our brain that enables social influence, desiring connection and harmony.
Even our memory is impacted by social networks, suggesting that motivation and retention is stronger with a relationship as the driver, rather than individual achievement. Research shows that children learn more effectively when their motivation is to teach someone else, as opposed to learning just to take a test. On so many levels, we are programmed to connect to those around us; according to UCLA professor Matthew Lieberman, “Being socially connected is our brain’s lifelong passion.”