We are all aware of the professional benefits that result from networking. There are numerous reasons why networking is important for your business, ranging from building strong referrals to increasing opportunities. By not prioritizing networking, you may be doing yourself a disservice. However, today we would like to explore the benefits beyond the boardroom, including impacts on your mental health and overall well-being.
At their core, humans are social beings (although some more than others). Abraham Maslow documented the importance of human connection and described it as, “feeling part of a group larger than oneself, such as a work community, religious affiliation, community center, volunteer organization, team, interest group, or club, is an essential component in the self-actualization process.” Ultimately, most people crave human connection and thrive on the relationships they build with friends, family members, and colleagues.
Physical Health Benefits of Networking
According to the CDC, there are several positive health benefits to strong networks. Social connections can help prevent serious health issues such as:
- Heart disease.
- Depression and anxiety.
“People with stronger social bonds have a 50% increased likelihood of survival compared to those with fewer social connections,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Strong relationships with others can also:
- Improve your ability to recover from stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Promote healthy eating, physical activity, and weight.
- Improve sleep, well-being, and quality of life.
- Reduce your risk of violent and suicidal behaviors.
- Prevent death from chronic diseases.
Mental Health Benefits of Networking
Creating a strong support system, both personally and professionally, can have a significant impact on your mental health. Research and experts have found that almost everyone benefits from social and emotional support. In most cases, having a strong network will make you better equipped to cope with problems on your own by boosting your self-esteem and sense of autonomy. For example, with the encouragement of others, you will be able to see yourself as capable of taking on certain situations, which will give you a sense of accomplishment and success.
We all live very busy lives. In the hustle and bustle of everyday tasks, we can often feel isolated and alone. As business owners, especially, when long hours are spent working, it can be challenging to find an outlet or people who can support you along the way. However, finding like-minded individuals who are willing to add value and joy to your life can make a difference. From having someone to bounce ideas off, seek guidance, vent about common problems, and celebrate success, knowing you have someone in your corner plays a key role in your mental health. Furthermore, other benefits may include:
- Lowering anxiety and depression.
- Helping to regulate emotions.
- Boosting self-esteem and empathy.
It is also important to remember that building a strong network is not about the quantity of people, but the quality. At the end of the day, you want to surround yourself with people who improve your overall well-being and don’t create additional or unnecessary stress or anxiety.
Taking the time to build genuine connections will ultimately lead you to having valuable relationships you can rely on.