THE IMPORTANCE OF CONNECTION

You may have seen recently, the press release “Connection a top priority” in the local newspaper and I think that often when we see a group of people of doing things a new way, the instinctual question that pops into our minds is – why?

So, in this blog post, I really wanted to unpack why we believe in the importance of connection at Brunslea Park. 

Where did it start? To be honest, this has been an organic discovery that has grown out of human experiences. 7 years ago, when I was struggling 12 months after a Bipolar Disorder diagnosis, I was given the opportunity to start as Sales and Marketing Coordinator at Brunslea Park. In no time at all, I discovered for myself, just how much having a sense of connection with others and a sense of purpose changed my life – it allowed me to become mentally well.

Over the years, through much reading, I have become more and more mascinated with Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs which suggests that our basic survival needs must be met including food, shelter and safety, before we can begin to gain a sense of belonging. Once we do have a sense of belonging, we are then able to look more outwardly to the world around us and make a difference. So, in all my reading, it felt like it really starts with a home and sense of belonging – on the path to becoming the best version of yourself. 

So just how important are connections with those around us in our life?

A recent 75 year-old Harvard study found one secret to leading a fulfilled life.

For over 75 years, Harvard's Grant and Glueck study has tracked the physical and emotional well-being of two populations: 456 poor men growing up in Boston from 1939 to 2014 (the Grant Study), and 268 male graduates from Harvard's classes of 1939-1944 (the Glueck study).

 Due to the length of the research period, this has required multiple generations of researchers. Since before WWII, they've diligently analyzed blood samples, conducted brain scans (once they became available), and pored over self-reported surveys, as well as actual interactions with these men, to compile the findings.

The conclusion? According to Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, one thing surpasses all the rest in terms of importance:

"The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period." (source: https://www.inc.com/melanie-curtin/want-a-life-of-fulfillment-a-75-year-harvard-study-says-to-prioritize-this-one-t.html)

One of my favourite writers and researchers, Brene Brown also puts it beautifully in the below piece. 

“Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard and valued, when they can give and receive without judgement. Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and by seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers to it. Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world. Our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”

~ Brene Brown

 

If there’s one thing for sure – we want to keep facilitating ways that we can connect more. 

Planting Seeds with Sam blog post,
written by Samantha Brunskill

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