Albert Einstein once said “Strange is our situation here on earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, now knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of others.”
Some argue that it was the development of our brains that helped humans survive over the course of our existence on earth, while others, argue that it was our ability to socialize and be social that assisted us in getting to where we are today. Our social nature is one that is innate to us which might have been the reason this pandemic and isolation has been increasingly hard. It goes very much against our natural desire and human need to be connected with others. In fact, losing the ability to connect can cause a significant amount of suffering – and I mean emotional and physical suffering. We often describe our emotional experience with somatic experiences such as by using the word “hurt” or describing rejection by having “hurt feelings”. This is because, social pain and physical pain are understood by the same part of our brains. Social connectedness is in fact, a protective factor against many physical ailments like high blood pressure, obesity, and even death.
I encourage each of you to spend time thinking of ways you can connect and maintain connection with others and the self. One of the ways to do that is to schedule a call with a friend or loved one. Take time to connect with the self by listening to the pain in our body related to social isolation and rival it through an act of connection. Give back to others, lend a helping hand or spend time playing games virtually.
Written by Samantha Memedoska