Nature, as much as nurture ("Don't forget to call your mother!"), powers our urge to stay in touch.
“Embedded in our biology is the drive to maintain lasting bonds with a close community,” says relationship expert and family therapist Vanessa Cain. “Research shows that the quality of our mental and physical health is directly related to our ability to maintain these relationships.”
Cain explains that laughing and engaging in intimate conversations with family and friends promotes feel-good neurotransmitters such as oxytocin and dopamine. Additionally, she says, “Prioritizing connecting with the people who mean the most to you, both in times of happiness and distress, is hugely effective in warding off mental illness, such as depression and anxiety.”