The Importance of Connection
Humans are naturally social creatures. Throughout history, we can see how we as a society thrive through “togetherness”, whether that be in tribes, social gatherings, or clubs. Technology and modern communication has changed the way we interact, but maintaining personal connections are invaluable nonetheless.
A Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, Dr. John Cacioppo, studied the physical effects of loneliness and determined that loneliness, in fact, changes our thoughts, which actually alters the chemistry of our brain. “The brain goes into a self-preservation state that brings with it a lot of unwanted side effects,” says Cacioppo. One of these changes includes increasing the level of the stress hormone, cortisol, that has numerous negative effects on the body. He goes on to say, “As a result of increased cortisol, sleep is more likely to be interrupted by micro-awakenings,” decreasing our ability to get quality sleep. This ends up harming the body over time and decreasing our overall health and wellbeing.