One-third of the U.S. is experiencing clinical symptoms of anxiety and depression — according to the Center for Disease Control. We miss connection and are grappling with how to increase closeness during these extraordinary times.
our daily existence requires both closeness and distance — the wholeness of self, the wholeness of intimacy.-Judith Viorst
how to increase closeness
I recently learned about Greater Good in Action. It’s an über-resourceful collaboration between UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and HopeLab. They combine scientific studies with research-based methods to teach us how to lead happier lives. It’s a gold mine for those of us who want to up our well-being game.
Normally, you would conduct the Increase Closeness activity in-person. But, pandemic times call for virtual measures.
So, we begin by visiting Greater Good in Action. We plan a Google Hangout with someone we want to know on a deeper level. –Or block some time with someone within our shelter-in-place bubble. Then, we alternate asking the questions provided.
Here are some examples:
- Is there anything you would change about how you were raised?
- If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about something, what would you want to know?
- If you knew you would die within a year, would you change anything about the way you’re living now? Why?
Asking each other thoughtfully crafted questions forces us to skate past the small talk and deep dive into intimacy. Maybe two people sharing honesty, trust, empathy, and non-judgement is exactly what the doctor ordered.
The 1918 pandemic produced the baby boom we recognize as the Greatest Generation. Who knows? Maybe our increased closeness will ring-in another boom. –And we shall call them The Coronials. (Oh boy.) –xo