Connection is a word of our age, and we see it everywhere. It’s used to entice us to buy or upgrade the tech that we use. If you Google the word, you will find a long list of song titles, organisations, charities and clothing companies to just name a few.
Connection is also one of the words that we use to describe the process of joining together with one or more people. Both of these descriptions give us the information that the brain needs to understand how to use the word in context, but it doesn’t share the warmth or true joy that being in a connected relationship can bring.
At this time of the year when many families gather together, and friends find time to catch up and mark the festive season, the true meaning of connection is celebrated. We can feel the power of connection through phone calls, online platforms and in person. Time spent connecting with family, friends (and pets too!) will leave us feeling uplifted and grateful.
The effect of connection through positive relationships has been measured by a wide range of experts and it has many positive health benefits. A socially connected person is less likely to experience depression, insomnia and cognitive decline. Being a socially connected person has been shown to boost the immune system, helping us to fight off the viruses that come our way. Another study showed that socially connected people would reduce their chances of early death by 50% and the lack of connection was found to be more harmful than even obesity and smoking.
At Heartbond we have spent a number of years researching the effect that social connection has on the rhythm of our heart. We have been able to show that when we are connected to another person our heart has a healthy or resonant pattern. Connecting to another can support our healthy heart and the heart of the other person too!
The heart rate patterns of two people connecting in love, appreciation and gratitude for each other. Notice how synchronised the patterns are. We know from research that these patterns are associated with positive feelings that enhance physical and mental health.
Over the festive period take a moment when you are connecting with others and feel the that this time that you are spending with others is doing you and them good. At a time associated with eating and possibly drinking too much remember that connection can give you a health boost now or at time any time of year.
Have a wonderful, heartful Christmas and New Year!
Claire & Peter