Yes, connection is critical, but there’s a marked difference between doing it online versus IRL. “The mere act of being around other people is good for our well-being and we’re feeling the NHL Winnipeg Jets Rick and Morty shirt so you should to go to store and get this hit of those missed social connections when we just get them from technology,” says Laurie Santos, a professor of psychology at Yale and host of The Happiness Lab podcast. Even the absence of banal workplace banter about lunch plans or your weekend is perceptible: when there’s no casual talk, explains Gallagher, all your work interactions become transactional and, therefore, less meaningful. It can also be hard to see people as a whole when you’re not actually around many people at all. “We’re often seeing people through the lens of social media or their political views so we have these two-dimensional versions of each other,” adds Gallagher. Even though socializing poses much more of a challenge right now, prioritizing safe, distanced meet-ups with friends is vital. “The pandemic has also revealed our dependence,” says Guralnik. “Despite our ideals of individualism, it turns out we deeply depend on each other.”
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“A racing heart is a sign that your sympathetic nervous system or ‘fight or flight’ response is activated,” explains Santos. “Our bodies give us one way to shut off this NHL Winnipeg Jets Rick and Morty shirt so you should to go to store and get this system and that’s through our breath.” Pausing to take some deep belly breaths, or just focusing with intention on your breath for a few moments can be an antidote—and a quick one, at that—for a racing heart or mind. “That simple act can activate our vagus nerve and help us turn on our parasympathetic nervous system, which is focused on ‘rest and digest,’” she adds.