Connection Theory is the idea that by focusing on cultivating connection (rather than happiness, mindfulness, resilience or any other single concept), we naturally build lives rich with meaning and satisfaction. Our research lab recently had some exciting findings that speak directly to this core message.
We asked 66 people to take a test that assessed their level of mindfulness — a measure that tends to correlate with life satisfaction — and then journal every day for one week. Half the group was asked to write about things that had happened that day, and the other half was asked to write about aspects of their day that related to self-connection. At the end of that week of journaling, and again one month later, we had all the subjects take mindfulness tests again.
What We Found
The results at the end of the week of journaling were not particularly promising . . . we found no real change in either group’s level of mindfulness. One month later, the group who’d just journaled about their days still saw no change, but the people who had journaled about self-connection tested significantly higher on mindfulness than before they’d started the study.
What does this mean? Well, it supports our hunch that using connection as a lens for our lives tends to promote good things. All these people were doing was setting an intention to focus on self-connection, and then directing their attention to the question of whether they felt connected to self during their day.
Intention + Attention + One Simple Question
Doing this for just one week helped our study participants boost their mindfulness a month later. What other measures of wellbeing might this practice help improve? What would happen if people journaled for longer than a week, or focused on their connection to others, or to work, as well as self-connection? We can’t wait to find out the answers to all of these questions and more.
If you’re interested in participating in our next Connection Lab study, please contact us!