The Connections That Form Us
February 16 2023 | Written by Rheanna Summers (She/Her)
In honour of February being a month surrounding love, it got me thinking about the importance of the connections in our lives. Whether it is the connections that are formed between each other as humans or through our relationship with animals and nature, these bonds can often go unseen and / or unrecognized. They may even be taken for granted from time to time, which is totally fair - life gets busy. However, when we have a moment to recognize the connections that we have in our lives, hopefully we can invite in gratitude and appreciation for the unseen positive impacts that they have on us. While love is often portrayed through movies and cinema as needing to be romantic in nature, doing so takes away from the valuable connections that can be formed in non-romantic settings. So, for this week’s Marlow blog, I figured why not explore the significance of forming connections and the impacts that they can have on our lives.
Over on Marlow’s Instagram, this past week we’ve been exploring the 5 different love languages. One aspect that has resonated with me is that a large part of connection is learning how we give / receive love, which relates to knowing our love language. Therefore, I encourage you to take a second to pop over to our Instagram page to learn a bit more!
The Connections That Form Us
From a historical and evolutionary standpoint, forming connections and bonds have been understood to be a crucial component of our survival as human beings. Social bonds with one another not only continue to encourage us to work together as a community but also bring us many mental benefits as well. Nowadays, living in 2023, connections can be formed both virtually and / or in person. But that being said, both connections and love can come from many different places, not strictly romantic or sexual sources. For example, my connection with my family dog brings me love and joy. Or my connection with my friends brings me so much more than love too. That being said, let’s now take a closer look into some of the powerful yet potentially invisible benefits that connection brings us.
How Connections Shape Us
In a romantic or sexual context, it is often said that connection can make a positive experience more amplified or intimate. With connection can come relaxation and comfortability, two factors that can contribute to having both fun and mutually satisfying sexual experiences. However, in a non-romantic setting, connections impact us in various different ways too. But to understand the benefits of connection, first the impacts of loneliness and social isolation must be examined.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, loneliness can not only impact a person’s mental health but also their physical wellbeing as well. For example, in older adults who are more prone to loneliness, there are higher rates of suicide, depression and anxiety that are experienced. Additionally, social isolation can result in both an increased risk of stroke and heart disease. Therefore, forming connections with the people that surround us have never been more important and crucial for both our mental and physical health.
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), social connections with one another have many positive effects. Some of these impacts include increasing our ability to balance our emotions, boost self-esteem, increase our ability to feel empathy, decrease depression and anxiety and lastly our immune response / system may improve. So while connections may be taken for granted, the positives associated with them are working in unseen ways within us.
As mentioned previously, forming connections with one another does not solely mean being sexual or romantic in nature. The whole premise surrounding this blog was to hopefully encourage you to examine both the seen and unseen connections in your life that aid you. Whether that be through the connections that we’ve formed with our significant others or our families (including chosen), or even simply our pets and the environment! The benefits gained from connections don’t even necessarily need to be deeply bonded either. You may gain love from practicing yoga or going to a dog park! And while Valentine’s Day has officially passed, identifying, and bringing value to the connections in your life should go beyond just the one day or even the month of February for that matter! Carry your connections and the value that they hold with you everywhere you go.