We, humans, are social creatures.
It’s hardwired in our DNA to seek out companionship and to crave acceptance from the people around us.
And so, as we grow up, we form connections with family, classmates, neighbors, and other people that we interact with.
We do our best to fit into the social norms and to feel accepted, respected, and even loved.
In some cases, these connections develop into something strong such as friendship and eventually a network or social circle.
How Engaging With People Affects Our Mood
Whether we like to admit it or not, we need other people in our lives. Having a sense of belonging in a group or a community allows us to feel good about ourselves and helps us handle periods of high stress and painful emotions (source).
Social networking has been well-established as a critical factor for mental health and well-being. Furthermore, social isolation has been shown to impact our psyche much more deeply than we imagine (source, source).
And if you think about it deeply, you don’t need a study to tell you these things:
Think about an experience you’ve had in the past where you truly felt part of a group. Maybe you volunteered somewhere. Maybe you were surrounded by like-minded individuals working toward the same goal (such as fitness and health).
Whatever the case, you probably felt happy, energetic, and optimistic.
And that truly is the power of engaging with other people.
The Common Trap We Fall Into
If you were to ask most people to rate the effort they put into socializing, they’d probably tell you that they work hard at it.
But, in many cases, that’s not really true, especially in the last decade and the ever-growing popularity and accessibility of smartphones.
The truth is, we are more ‘connected’ than ever, yet we feel lonely. Why is that?
Take a short walk outside, and you’ll see a very large group of people who are staring at their phones.
Grocery store? Same deal.
Gym? Yep, you guessed it.
Where am I getting with this? Well, we tend to form social connections but then close ourselves up for new opportunities to meet people and grow. We become part of a single cluster of people for decades, without even realizing it.
A very notable study done by Ronald Burt and colleagues, on various populations showed the world that being in an open network rather than a closed one itself is a great predictor of career success.
He goes on to explain that is much better for us to be brokers between multiple ‘clusters’ of people who don’t know each other rather than being part of a single cluster where everyone knows each other.
That way, we are exposed to new beliefs, new ideas, new opportunities, and much more. This, in turn, not only hones our socializing skills, but also makes us more successful, happier, and more confident.
Plus, if nothing else, socializing with new people provides us with different points of view to the various aspects of life, rather than having the same old perspective.
It’s clear, then, that we need to actively fight against the comfort of staying in one group and be open to meeting and interacting with new people who are outside our current ‘cluster.’
We Build Our Classes Around Engagement and Interaction
At Lucid Vitality, we offer small group classes. Our signature MoveAlpha class focuses on teaching us to engage while working with a partner during movement.
We teach movements like the squat, hinge, twist that allow us to build coordination, balance and a strong movement foundation.
In our view, this is the first step to getting out of the same old cluster that we’ve been part of, expose ourselves to new people, and grow both physically and spiritually.
Are you ready to take the step?