The Importance of Human Connection

Cori Getzendanner, Writer, Reporter

Human connection is important because it benefits mental health. Studies have shown that having close friends and social relations can alleviate and prevent stress, depression, anxiety, low self esteem, and other mental ailments. To form and maintain good relationships, find similarities and/or differences and work from there. 

One way to create a lasting relationship is to find something you have in common. It could be a movie you both like or an obscure musical artist you both listen to. For example, “Hey, have you read [insert wizard fantasy series]?” “Yes, I loved it!” “Awesome! Want to talk about it?” Bonds can blossom from a multitude of correspondences and differences; you don’t have to be heterogeneous to become friends. 

To form a strong connection you can’t be afraid of commitment. Relationships can be ruined if one or both people involved are afraid to take it further. Not just to a romantic relationship; they could even be scared of stepping past acquaintances and meeting outside their origin. Fear of fidelity can prevent relationships that could have been. “Almost” is a terrible word; don’t lose an “almost-relationship”. Strong friendships are the goal of many lonely people. They can benefit mental health in many factors. 

A study by Rachel K. Narr, Ph.D. candidate at UV (Department of Psychology) followed 169 teenagers aged 15 over a course of 10 years. They checked in on them every year, asking questions about their relationships, feelings of self-worth, anxiety, and popularity. They examined the teens for depression and mental disorders and interviewed their friends. Narr and her colleagues discovered that those juveniles that focused on their friends and social relations reported “lower social anxiety, a higher sense of self-worth, and fewer depressive symptoms by the age of 25, compared with their counterparts who did not prioritize such friendships.” “High school students with higher-quality best friendships tended to improve in several aspects of mental health over time, while teens who were popular among their peers during high school may be more prone to social anxiety later in life,” said Narr. Science and psychology prove that human connections or lack thereof affect people in many ways.