5 Ways to Make Meaningful Connections
Face-to-Face Connections Are Good for You!
Meaningful, positive connections are more than just a way to network, they are also an integral part of human emotional, mental and physical health. Face-to-face, in-person connections and conversations actually release feel-good chemicals including oxytocin and dopamine, and lower levels of cortisol. Oxytocin lowers cortisol, and increases feelings of trust, promotes love, bonding, well-being, and can even be found to decrease anxiety. Dopamine is linked to feelings of pleasure, accomplishment and satisfaction. With all of this science behind it, jumping at the chance to make stronger, more personal connections should be at the top of your to do list. If you’re wondering how to get started, read on.
5 Tips for Creating Stronger Connections
If you are wondering how strong friendships are made, or are seeking a better connection than one made over social media, keep these tips listed below in mind:
- Just say YES to new things! Try new things, visit new places, meet new people. If your friend group seems to be growing stale, it might be time to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new.
- Create a friendly bucket list. Make a list of places you would like to go, things you would like to do, a bucket list of all the things that scare you a little bit. Once you’ve got your list, look for groups on social media, or apps, that bring people together who are interested in the same things. Apps like MeetUp or other social gathering apps and groups will bring you into circles of like minded people, who may just wind up being your new best friends.
- Set all judgements aside. When you are looking for new, meaningful connections or are fostering better connections with someone who is already in your life, you must set all judgements aside. Keep an open mind and open heart, while being willing to listen to others opinions and life experiences without judgement. Listening with the intent to learn, instead of the intent to reply, is key in creating a meaningful relationship.
- Have zero expectations. Give friendship, your attention, your love, and energy, without expectation of a return or reward. You will never be fully committed to something if you are always looking for what you are going to get out of it.
- Take time to connect. Whether it is with an old friend or someone new, relationships and connections take time. They are best fostered with undivided attention, plans that are made and kept, and small gestures that let the other person know that you care. This is true of business connections, friends and love interests. If you meet someone new, and enjoy the interaction, make plans right then and there for the next time you will see them (even if the plans are a month or two away) and keep those plans. It will give you something to look forward to as well as hold you accountable. Trust in your word is what will be the foundation of the relationship.
Friendships That Last A Lifetime
Positive, meaningful relationships are good for your health and emotional well-being, but they also are the foundation for a meaningful life. We are remembered not for the things we had in life, but the impressions that we make. When you meet someone who you feel a connection with, don’t let it go to waste. Nurture it as if it were a newborn baby, and watch it grow into a lifelong relationship. It’s worth it!