5 Key Insights on Staying Meaningfully Connected
From finding purpose to feeling awe to rethinking certain communication habits, here are 5 key takeaways from our deep dive into connection
By Michael Miller – December 24th, 2019
1. Stay connected to a bigger purpose
Want to live a long, satisfying life? Make sure you have a clear sense of your life’s purpose. Intriguing research studies have found that having a sense of purpose helps you sleep better at night, makes your brain more resilient to diseases like Alzheimer’s, and helps you live almost twice as long as people who don’t. It’s easy to get caught up in the minute details of everyday life and lose connection with your bigger purpose, but a growing body of research suggests that this isn’t something to overlook.
2. Seek out experiences that give you goosebumps
What’s the secret elixir of connection? Experiencing awe. A growing body of research has found that experiencing awe makes people measurably kinder, happier, and more generous. They feel more connected to others and to causes important to them. In fact, even just remembering an experience of awe has these effects. “The benefits are profound,” says awe researcher Dacher Keltner. “Seek out experiences that give you goosebumps.”
3. Take 3 minutes – or 3 days – to connect with the natural world
As a culture, we’re experiencing a widespread crisis of disconnection, and according to a growing body of research, one primary cause may be a lack of connection with nature. “That’s precisely what we’re seeing in people,” says Ming Kuo, a researcher at the University of Illinois who has been studying nature’s effect on humans for over 30 years. “We know this because we have mounting evidence that when you have a set of people who have a certain amount of access to nature and you give them a bit more, you see better social functioning, better psychological functioning, and better physical health.”
The research is clear: strong social connections predict the quantity and quality of our days. “The only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people,” says George Vaillant, the longtime director of the Harvard Grant Study. So in an era marked by loneliness and superficial connection, how can we build the connections we need to thrive?
5. Sustain positive connections with healthy communication patterns
Communication in the workplace is a constant challenge. Fortunately, research on emotions and the brain has helped clarify key communication tools to sustain positive connections, even during difficult conversations. This series of articles offer tips for finding the perfect balance of clarity, accountability and compassion.
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As you read these Connection pieces and practice applying the actionable insights to your life, be sure to share the results in the comments. We strongly believe at Six Seconds that every situation is unique – No Way is the Way in our Learning Philosophy – and your thoughts are invaluable to others as they try to grow and sustain a life of connection.
Looking ahead, our 2020 Q1 theme is Digital Era. Connective technologies have transformed the world, making life easier and at the same time, paradoxically, more challenging. Be on the lookout for the latest research about how to find the right balance with technology individually, and how to take advantage of its potential organizationally. If you’re not already signed up for our weekly newsletter, you can subscribe by filling out the form to the right.
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