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We Are Hardwired For Connection

We were created for connection. We were woven together with the need to have others woven together with us.

We are physically hardwired for connection.

Consider this question asked of Dr. Amy Banks, M.D., director of Advanced Training at the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at the Wellesley Centers for Women ; instructor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School; co-editor of The Complete Guide to Mental Health for Women; and author of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Relationships and Brain Chemistry.

Why is the field of neuroscience so important to understanding the necessity of human relationships to overall well-being?

Dr. Banks: Due to a series of seminal studies and research, neuroscience is confirming our entire autonomic nervous system wants us to connect with other human beings. Of particular importance are mirror neurons, which are throughout our brain and allow us to read behavior. They are the basis of empathy – so that when you watch my face as I am talking I can watch your face and I can see that when I am more animated your face gets more animated. It’s that automatic moment-to-moment resonance that connects us. There have been studies that look at emotions in human beings such as disgust, shame, happiness, where the exact same areas of the brain light up in the listener who is reading the feelings of the person talking. We are, literally, hardwired to connect.

And consider what we know is Biblically true:

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Genesis 2:18 (NLT) Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? Eccl. 4:9:11 (NLT)

These can apply to marriage but they can also apply to friendships and the deep need for connection that God placed in each of us.

* I believe that women, sharing life over a cup of coffee is a beautiful thing.

* I believe that talking about the pressures and challenges of everyday life with other women strengthens us.

* I believe that discovering that others are going through the same feelings as we are helps us to not feel so alone.

* I believe that expressing our fears to one another weakens the power that the fear has over us.

* I believe that women need to connect with other women similar to them and when they do, they are better, their families are better and this world is better.

In the next few weeks I’ll be sharing more about how Praise and Coffee wants to help women find that connection and comfort in the friendships of other women just like them.

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