Did you know that truly taking good care of ourselves requires a lot more than simply exercising and eating right? There are many things that play a part in our overall health – and one of the best ways you can promote overall health is keeping an active social life!
Unfortunately, we often neglect our closest and strongest relationships with family and friends. Nurturing those relationships does take time and effort, but it can pay off largely in many aspects of our health and well-being. Maintaining an active social life provides benefits to promoting the health of our mind, body, and soul! Here are some benefits you can expect to receive by putting in the effort to nurture your relationships and not let them fall by the wayside.
REDUCED RISK OF DEPRESSION
Spending quality time socializing with family and friends naturally boosts our feelings of confidence and happiness, which also leads to a reduced risk of developing depression. Maintaining an active social life will help combat feelings of isolation and loneliness that often lead to depression.
If you are already suffering from depression, getting out and socializing with family and friends is often the last thing you want to do, but it is the one thing that can make the biggest impact on your mood and fight off the depression immediately.
While any form of socialization is better than none, research shows that in-person social interactions have a stronger impact on our well-being than technological interactions such as through e-mails and phone calls. So, make sure you are surrounding yourself with positive relationships that you have personal interaction with regularly!
INCREASED COGNITIVE FUNCTION
When it comes to our mental health, strong social activity not only helps reduce our risk of depression, but it also helps increase our brain’s overall functioning. Strong social interactions help us remain mentally engaged, and the more active our brains are, the stronger they are. Research has consistently shown that people who have stronger and deeper social connections perform better on tests involving memory and other cognitive skills, and there is now even evidence linking an active social life to a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
One of the most difficult parts of maintaining our health can often be reducing the amount of stress in our lives. In today’s fast paced world, stress seems to be a natural factor, but it doesn’t have to be. Research shows that people who feel they have a stronger social network of people they can turn to are much less likely to feel stressed and overwhelmed. This is one area in which whether the social interaction is face-to-face or over a computer doesn’t seem to matter, the only thing that matters seems to be that the person feels they are receiving the proper support for their needs, and when this is happening it successfully reduces one’s stress and the negative health impacts stress causes.
CREATION OF HEALTHIER HABITS
Have you ever realized that many of your personal habits are similar to the habits of your closest family and friends? This is not a coincidence. Research shows that your closest relationships will affect the decisions that you make regarding your health and nutrition. By surrounding yourself around friends and family with healthy habits, they will also encourage you to develop healthier habits for yourself, which will lead to increased overall well-being.
DECREASES RISK FOR DISEASE
An active social life will also help you maintain your physical health and well-being. People with stronger social interactions and connections tend to also have stronger immune systems, which means they are better able to fight off disease as simple as colds and flus to as severe as chronic illness and cancer. Having a more active social life will also help you get out of the house and up and going more often and staying physically active like this also helps keep our bodies strong and reduce the risk of developing disease. Additionally, those who have stronger social interactions and connections tend to heal from injury and illness that does occur faster.
Maintaining an active social life and also help you increase your life span overall. In fact, studies show that men and women with deeper social interactions and connections live 50% longer than men and women who are more socially isolated. This means the risk of death is double for those who are socially isolated as compared to those who are socially connected! These facts have been shown to remain consistent even when other factors such as socioeconomic status are taken into consideration. So, if you want to live a long and healthy life, make sure you are keeping up with your closest social relationships.
HELPS YOU SLEEP BETTER
We all know that getting a good night’s sleep is essential to our overall health and well-being, but this can often be difficult to do. However, research shows that people who are lonelier and more socially isolated have more difficulty falling asleep, experience more restlessness, and more disruptions in sleep throughout the night than those who are socially well connected.
Now that you know the many health benefits that come with maintaining your strongest and closest social relationships with family and friends, make sure you are doing your part to stay connected with these people. It will not only help keep you healthier overall but will also help keep your loved ones healthier as their social life will increase with being more deeply connected to you!