With the onset of fall, people retreat indoors to connect with their family and friends for the holidays. However, it is important that we maintain another kind of connection – our connection with strangers. Below are some proven benefits of talking to strangers.
Humans are wired to connect, and this connection affects our health. Recent research shows that feeling connected can help people maintain a healthy body mass index, control blood sugars, improve cancer survival, decrease cardiovascular mortality, decrease depressive symptoms, mitigate post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, and improve overall mental health. Talking to a stranger is your first step towards improved connection and well-being!
You Become Happier
A U Chicago Study found that people mistakenly believe other people don’t want to be approached for conversation. Yet, if they actually do approach people, they are much happier because of it. So, next time you feel hesitant to strike up a conversation with a stranger, take a deep breath, smile, and just say hi. You might be surprised by how much happier you feel!
Heightened Sense of Belonging
Casual connections with people we encounter in the course of daily life can give us a sense of belonging to a community. They also inspire us to venture beyond our comfort zones. Next time you’re out, strike up a conversation with a neighbor or shopkeeper.
Talking to someone else and stepping into their world can increase your empathy for others and make you feel more spiritually connected to humanity as a whole.
Helps you get Unstuck
If you talk to a stranger, you are more present, because you are in a new situation. It can help you “get unstuck” from your current mental state and see the world in new ways.