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Coronavirus The Isolation Connect to Thrive

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

Cece Shatz,Doyenne of RelationshipAuthor

We can all have the connection which keeps us centered it’s finding what works for you. Start today….Connect to thrive!

I recently read “Connect to Thrive” by Emma Seppälä Ph.D. blog and it made me think of my life over the past years and the continued desire to feel the connection with others. I wonder, is this why I have felt such loneliness in my life?

I have begun to explore this feeling of connection during my time of being Single over the past years. Realizing, coming from a large family, you can get lost in the crowd. I was an outgoing, shy girl growing up and still think I am today.

You ask yourself how can one be outgoing and shy at the same time? Well, indeed you can be just that. At times, it takes a great deal to get one’s head out of the sand, to embrace life even when you’ve been dealt a difficult hand.

Like many of you, I do things out of my comfort zone because I know the outcome will bring me to a better place. So, the shy girl moves towards sharing, giving and reaching towards others in need. Which appears to many as being outgoing, but instead it is a movement of caring and understanding the feeling of sudden change, fear of the future, and with great desire to create change in people’s lives and my own.

“Connect to Thrive” by Emma Seppälä Ph.D. touched me and gave me a better understanding of the need to connect with others and why it is so important.

Together let’s review her points….

Lack of social connection is a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure. On the flip side, strong social connection leads to a 50% increased chance of longevity.

Social connection strengthens our immune system (research by Steve Cole shows that genes impacted by social connection also code for immune function and inflammation), helps us recover from disease faster, and may even lengthen our life.

People who feel more connected to others have lower rates of anxiety and depression.

Studies have shown a higher self-esteem, are more empathic to others, more trusting and cooperative and, as a consequence, others are more open to trusting and cooperating with them.

Social connectedness therefore generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical well-being.

Unfortunately, the opposite is also true for those who lack social connectedness. Low social connection has been generally associated with declines in physical and psychological health as well as a higher propensity to antisocial behavior that leads to further isolation.

Despite its clear importance for health and survival, sociological research suggests that social connectedness is waning at an alarming rate in the US.

A revealing sociological study showed the number of close confidantes (i.e., people with whom one feels comfortable sharing a personal problem) is decreasing. With many Americans saying they have no one to confide in.

This survey suggests that one in four people that we meet may have no one they call a close friend! This decline in social connectedness may explain reported increases in loneliness, isolation, and alienation.

Those who are not socially connected are more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, antisocial behavior, and even suicidal behaviors which tend to further increase their isolation.

A landmark survey showed a lack of social connectedness predicts vulnerability to disease and death above and beyond traditional risk factors such as smoking, blood pressure, and physical activity. Eat your greens and exercise, yes, but don't forget to connect!

Brene Brown, Professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, specializes in social connection and spoke with Emma Seppälä Ph.D. She said: “A deep sense of love and belonging is an irresistible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong.

When those needs are not met, we don't function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We “numb”. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.” We are profoundly social creatures.

We may think we want money, power, fame, beauty, eternal youth or a new car, but at the root of most of these desires is a need to belong, to be accepted, to connect with others, to be loved. We pride ourselves on our independence, on pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps, having a successful career and above all not depending on anyone.

But, the truth of the matter, is that a sense of social connection is one of our most fundamental human needs.

For those who doubt, just think of the sting of rejection. A brain imaging study led by Ethan Kross at the University of Michigan suggests that the same parts of the brain are activated during social rejection as during physical pain.

A study by Shelley Taylor at the University of California Los Angeles suggests that stress due to conflict in relationships leads to increased inflammation levels in the body. Both physically and psychologically, we experience social connection as positive and rejection or loneliness as negative.

Here’s some GREAT NEWS…A sense of connection is internal: Researchers agree that the benefits of connection are linked to your subjective sense of connection. In other words, if you feel connected to others on the inside, you reap the benefits thereof!

While many of us cannot always control the number of friends we have, one thing we can take responsibility for is the state of our mind. We can foster, nurture, and build our internal sense of connection. It just takes a little courage and a spirit of adventure.

This brings me to today, the isolation that we are all feeling, the lack of physical connection. Individually, we all need to connect internally, connect with ourselves on the inside, connect to our core and connect to our minds in a positive way. Begin to live each moment, embrace our passions by taking the time to think about what we enjoy doing and do it.

Take the time to learn something new, work on something you have put off, tap into an interest, for example begin cooking new dishes, create your space by cleaning, reorganizing and falling in love with your personal space.

Step out of yourself, think of ways to help others, make phone called to loved ones and friends and begin to connect with those online. Start to share, grow and envision yourself in the life you chose.

We can all have the connection which keeps us centered it’s finding what works for you. Start today….Connect to thrive!

Thank you Emma Seppälä Ph.D for a wonderful article that makes us think.

Blogger – Cece Shatz, Doyenne of Relationship Building, Award Nominated International Radio Personally, Host of Going Solo with Cece, Founder & Owner of WGSN-DB Going Solo Network Radio, TV & Podcasts ( & Going Solo Network, Inc. – Singles Interactive Social Support Network (

For more Things To Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic have a listen to this podcast

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