Do you think connection is key to happiness? I think so…..
In 2019, I spent more time in my local community surrounded by a variety of different people. I volunteered more, attended many different types of events and went out to lunch with friends. I felt happy and connected to others. However, by the end of 2019 and early 2020, I was withdrawing and disconnecting from everyone.
I didn’t really plan to disconnect from others, life just got busier. For instance, work was increasing, winter was settling in and the sun had all but disappeared. I simply didn’t “feel” like going out or connecting with others beyond my immediate family. Within 60 days, I felt different. I felt lonely and isolated.
Happiness Takes Work
In February, I became more aware of my happiness levels. At about the same time, I came across the idea of Bullet Journaling which led to an interview with Fast Company about how bullet journaling can help kick start your mindfulness practice. You can check out the article here. Within the Bullet Journal method is a Mood Tracker. This has been a game-changer. I now track my moods daily. If you are wondering what the heck Bullet Journaling is, I wrote more about it here.
By tracking my mood, I can better track how I feel and connect those feelings to the activities in my day.
Since then, I’ve been working on what it takes to increase my own happiness level. I started to explore the idea that feeling connected is key to happiness. First, I scheduled time on my calendar to call different friends and old colleagues. Unbelievably, I had not attended an event or gone out in more than 6 months. So, in early March, I bought tickets to an improv event and when I started to back out, I forced myself to go. What was the result? I felt happier!
In addition to reading about happiness, I began listening to Dan Harris’ 10% Happier Podcast. Eventually, I stumbled onto his interview with Sonja Lyubomirsky . Lyubomirsky has spent almost 30 years studying happiness and her research as found, that connection is key to happiness. I’ve been fascinated by her work.
What I am discovering is…… happiness takes work and connection is key to happiness. This discovery has been even more important since the COVID-19 crisis. The world is waking up to the idea that human connection is important. It is important for our mental health and our own happiness. Phones down and hearts open. From families using Zoom to connect multiple households to one conversation to citizens joining in song from their balconies. We need each other to be and stay happy.
5 EASY Ways To Connect More During COVID-19 Shut-In
- Host Virtual Dinner Night – Using your laptop, tablet or phone camera and cook with others. Invite your mom, dad, adult children, friends or other family members to a virtual dinner night. Cook together, laugh together, eat together.
- Commit To Call A Friend Each Evening – I’ve been walking 5 miles each evening. I miss going to step class at the gym but, I’ve discovered I really enjoy calling friends and family while on my walk. This has led to happiness and feeling more connected.
- Make Plans Post Covid-19 – Now is the time to start planning an event to celebrate the end of the shut-in.
- Text Old Connections – Reignite an old friendship by randomly texting old contacts on your phone. People will be happy to hear from you.
- Virtual Watch Party Night – In February, a group of friends started hosting Bachelor watch parties. I’m not a Bachelor fan but, I loved the idea of spending the evening watching a TV show together. Now’s the time to take that idea virtual.
If connection is key to happiness… then lets connect! Follow me and Stratavize on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn @Lauralee Hites and Stratavize’s LinkedIn business page. You can always drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested in learning more about how Stratavize serves our clients? GREAT! Start by visiting our website.