Imagine yourself sitting lonely in your apartment on a fine Sunday, feeling stressed about work and Monday and you get a call from your best friend inviting you for the dinner at your favorite restaurant? You’ll notice your mood swinging at 360 degrees! Well, this is the power of social life. Going out with friends, eating out, seeing a movie, going for a picnic or shopping might just be fun activities for you. But you don’t know how beneficial they are for your mental and physical wellbeing.
This article is all about how can your social life benefit you. What are the prominent benefits of being social and how does it adds to your health? So, let’s find out.
Being social can prolong your life span
A research study claims that being social can add to the years of your life. Your social life influences how long you live. This study was conducted at Brigham-Young University and it says that isolation and loneliness have more negative impacts on your life span than obesity. And we all know that obesity is the mother of all diseases. Another study from the University of Chapel Hill North Carolina states that people with fewer social connections have a 50% chance of dying early. Also, Horstman in her book says that healthy friendship, no matter if long-distance, increases the chances of a long and healthy life.
Being social reduces the risk of stroke
Many people think that spending a night out with friends, taking them on a long drive, eating out at a restaurant are unhealthier practices. You should instead be going to a gym, getting your things done in time, and sleep peacefully. But they don’t know that research says that people who spend time with their friends are at lower risk of developing hypertension and inflammation. Also, their likelihood of having a stroke or brain damage is much low. Research at Harvard School of Public Health states that people who engage with their friends more have a sense of enthusiasm which reduces their health risks notably.
Being social strengthens your immunity
John Cacioppo, a psychologist at the University of Chicago, studies social isolation and its effects on the human brain and biology. He states that isolation is associated with both mental and physical illnesses. Also, research says that socially isolated people have lower immunity and are at a higher risk of getting sick. They can easily catch common infections like cold and flu. However, socially active people have good immunity and don’t fall sick easily. Also, it keeps stress and depression at bay.
Being social encourages good habits
When you are out with good people, you automatically catch their vibe and encourage yourself to do good. A good friend circle can help you quit unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking, etc. All you have to do is to make the right friends and see the good coming to you!
Social life delays the onset of cognitive decline
Social activities keep your mind active. They engage your brain in something productive which benefits its growth and health. Psychology says that interacting with your friends is therapeutic for your brain, especially when your friends are young. The University of Arizona runs a clinical program where patients of Alzheimer’s disease are engaged with college-going students in exercise sessions. These sessions are proven to stabilize their mental decline and elevate their mood.
Good social life relieves pain
If you remember as a child having your mother stroke your fevered brow or kiss a skinned knee and feeling better, you’re not alone, and it wasn’t your imagination. Holding hands with someone you care about has been shown in studies to reduce pain perception as well as blood pressure. So, whether you hold hands, hug someone, or get a massage, it can help you feel better and reduce pain.
Social life has far more benefits than your imagination. It helps you keep going through life. Friends and family are your ultimate support in difficult times. Whenever you feel like giving up or feel like not doing anything, call your best friend or your parents. Talk to them about what is bothering you. Go out for lunch or drive. It will make you feel better. It is never advised to have a lot of friends. You can have your parents as your friends or siblings or that one friend from childhood is enough. Always remember, quality not quantity is what should be preferred.
After receiving his undergraduate degree in psychology, Scott went on to work as a teacher and educational counselor while working towards his master’s degree. He has spent several years working with children and adults and has personal experience with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, Dyslexia, and Depression.