Socially connected people, people who rate this life area as one that they have high satisfaction in, have the highest equilibrium state (the highest life balance) across all the major key areas of life, well above people who as a contrast don’t have high levels of social connection happiness.
In fact, those of us who rate our social connection as sub-par (and this is 35% of us), have lower levels of life statisfaction, less life balance and more stress in key areas of their lives!
So that’s the data. What does it mean and why???
Well first up there are modern reasons why a big chunk of us are disconnected! We no longer live, in a modern western society, in tribes. So immediately our environment is not set up for constant social reliance and interaction. Next, if we look at how social networks develop, for example from school, many of us are transient. We move. And geographical distance and social connection just don’t mix. Yeah forget FaceBook and your 1000 “friends” … how many do you see face to face … weekly. That’s your social circle. We can debate that later.
And lastly another point (the last point in this post anyway) is that most of us centre our social worlds around our relationships. And if that’s marraige, well 50% of those relationships end in divorce (worse if you live in Russia … it’s in the mid 60 percent range there). And with the dissolution of marraige, the social circle takes a massive haemmorrhage. And that leaves many of us virtually having to start again.
And this can have devastating impacts! You see we are just wired to be social, and without a network, it messes with our heads. It’s our brains fault.
Our brain, particularly the neocortex is more developed and just plain bigger than in other mammals, and in other similar mammals, say primates. This is the part of the brain that is involved with social cognitive processes, for example empathy. We are truly designed to be social and without the ability to utilise those neurons, isolation in a physical, mental and physiological sense results. Lower happiness. Lower life-satisfaction.
Contrast a brain (and the attached human) that is actively socially engaged in a variety of situations and also across a larger dynamic and active social group.
Those humans … and their tribe … thrive.
Happiness. In everything. Life balance.
So what to do?
And watch this space. The book on bringing everything, every key life area into balance, to live your dream life, is on its way.