Mental Health Moment | Connection
Apr 12, 2022
Mental Health Moment by Amy Morgan, MSC | Wednesday, April 13, 2022
When you think about your bank account or your financial situation, you know that there are some things that make your situation stronger and there are things that make your financial situation weaker. Spending money obviously starts to deplete your bank account, whereas saving money or having income help to build your bank account and strengthen your financial situation.
Let's apply this now to your well-being and your mental health. There are some things that strengthen your well-being and there are things that deplete your mental health. Two of the things that can really have a negative impact are loss and pain. Looking to the positive, though, I want to talk about something that helps strengthen your well-being and builds your mental health. Two things that really strengthen our mental wellness are purpose and connection – today I want to focus on connection.
What kind of connections do you have in your daily life? I work from home full-time and I have a lot of online meetings and I talk to a lot of people on the phone throughout the day, but I don't really count that as true connection. It's conversation and interaction, but I don’t feel like it’s genuine connection which is something deeper. When you feel like you have someone in your life that really gets you, knows you, and understands you, sometimes even without you having to say anything, that's connection. Connection is not just spending time with someone or talking to someone, it is genuinely having a bond with someone in ways where you feel you are actually in sync and sharing a mutual understanding.
Think about your own life right now. How much genuine connection do you have? If you have a hundred friends, you may feel you’re socially connected, but my guess is that maybe only a couple of them are friends with you have an actual real connection. If you have even one person in your life with whom you share a connection, consider yourself blessed and treat that connection with the special care that it deserves. I know a lot of people who are married who do not feel they still have a connection with their own spouse,, so even the people in your life that you would possibly name as the default connection can be people you may not actually feel connected to.
Depression can often come from feeling alone and being alone doesn't mean just being without other people around you, it also means not feeling like you're connected in your life with someone else. Loneliness can happen even when you're constantly surrounded by people. If you sometimes feel lonely, or like something is missing in your life, it's possible that what you are missing is connection. You may belong to a group of like-minded people like a church or a hobby group; maybe it's your workplace or an organization you volunteer with. Those people are likely to be able to build some sort of connection with you because you already have something in Common. But how deep is that connection? Do you feel truly understood by someone?
Sometimes a connection in our life happens with someone with whom we shared a difficult experience. If you went through something traumatic with another person, they are likely to be the only other person who really understands what you went through the same way you do. That creates a connection; however, it may not be enough to be one of those really deep connections if you aren’t connected or understanding of each other in other areas.
Look around you and think about whether or not you feel you have good connections in your life. If you don't, start putting yourself in places where you are likely to meet someone who has shared interests and shared goals. Without connection we can feel lost and alone in life, so deepen your connections or build new and you will probably feel very different about your life pretty quickly.