It’s not lots of presents, or time off work, or trips to the panto ….


Christmas is the time when we traditionally reconnect with our family, extended family and friends, and that connection makes us feel happy.

A sense of connection is our greatest human need

A sense of connection is our greatest human need, after food and shelter. We’re hardwired for in-person social connection. We’re naturally tribal and from the moment we’re born until our last day, we have a deep and profound longing to belong to, and be a part of, something larger than ourselves.

The need for connection means that we are continually striving to connect and build strong social bonds and relationships with other people. This is the main reason why we get married, why we attend church gatherings, why we spend time in nature, why we gather at clubs, and why some people choose to join gangs. It’s all because of a need to feel connected to other people in some way.

The single strongest predictor of happiness that we have

Studies by American psychologists Edward Diener & Martin Seligman have found that people with the highest levels of happiness have strong ties to friends, family, and a strong commitment to spending time with them.

Connectedness and our well-being

“A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.”

~ Dr. Brené Brown

Not only is connectedness the key to our happiness it is extremely important for our overall emotional and physical well-being. Connection improves our mood, reduces our stress and anxiety, and ultimately leaves us feeling happier.

Many studies have found we become healthier when we feel connected to and supported by others: we experience lower blood pressure, better hormone function, stronger immune systems and lower levels of inflammation. And when we face adversity, research suggests that our relationships and community have an important role to play in our resilience.

Make sure you’re making time for family and friends this Christmas

So over this holiday season make sure you’re making time for family and friends, and connecting with others. If you’re not connecting with people face to face, remember to phone or text them, to check in and stay connected. And if you’ve lost touch with some family members or friends, schedule some time to reconnect.

If you feel disconnected

If you feel disconnected, look for opportunities to connect with others over the holiday season. For the most part we have to actively seek out and nurture connection, unfortunately it doesn’t often come knocking on our door.

Some options you might consider are inviting your neighbours over for chat and a cuppa, attending a church service, or participating in one or more of the community Xmas activities in your area. Perhaps you could volunteer your services such as, ‘playing Santa’ for a few hours at a local hospital or nursing home. There’s no need to don the red and white costume, just aim to connect with the staff and those patients/residents who receive few to no visitors.

Until 2020 …..

I wish you and your loved ones a Christmas and New Year blessed with connection, love, happiness and good times. If travelling, please be safe.

And remember ….. stay connected.

Go well.


PS. I’m back in the office on 6th January if you would like some help making your New Year’s Resolutions a reality.

Tony is on a mission to help people enjoy lives free of unnecessary stress and anxiety. If you’d like help, or you know someone who does, give Tony a confidential call/text today on 021 056 8389 or email