Have That Feeling Of Belonging
Many medical experts have taught that if you have a strong network of family, loved ones and friends, your chances of being happier, healthier, and living longer increase significantly.
It’s been pointed out that our brains are have finely-detailed built-in in systems programmed to receive unexpected rewards and pleasures. Our connection with other people is the foundation of many of these unexpected pleasures.
Whenever we decided to play badminton with a close office-mates, watch a movie with the kids, go to church as a family, or have some fun playing a board game at home, we trigger hormones in the brains that release unmistakably pleasurable feelings.
Remember the saying “No man is an island”? Everyone needs encouragement, camaraderie, support, interaction, love, and closeness within a social network in order to be happy and satisfied. There is simply no substitute for healthy social interaction.
What are the immediate benefits of a social network?
- You can cope with stress better – stress becomes more stressful when you go through it alone. People normally like to vent out their feelings and frustrations, which means telling it to a friend or somebody close, in order to get strength and determination to face the problem.
- Your body becomes more resistant to illness – yes, there’s a link between your immune system and your loved ones. In one case, an old woman who developed leukemia eventually went into remission after she decided to live with a married son and his family.
- Your optimism and zest for life increases – it’s traditionally accepted in many cultures that with old age comes physical passivity and mental misery. But the passing of the years can really be a joyful experience when there are lots of friends and loved ones surrounding you.
HOW ABOUT GETTING INTO SPORTS?
Engaging in a regular sports activity is one of the best ways to build a strong social network. You get to meet friends who share the same passions as you have and you get to interact with each other not just in a mental or social way but in a physical way, too.
Your mind is sharpened, your heart is rejuvenated, and your body is invigorated.
Look Around You… And Grab Hold Of Them!
Let’s discuss the above mentioned three benefits further. Whether it be your parent, spouse, loved one or close friend, nurture a long-term and close relationship with someone.
A study by Harvard University has proven that a person with strong social connections generates emotions that positively affect immune systems.
Other researchers have also confirmed that having loyal and supportive friends is beneficial for one’s general well-being – physically, mentally, socially, spiritually, etc.
As we emphasized earlier, a real healthy lifestyle doesn’t only include a healthy diet, physical and mental exercises but also a network of friends and family.
Lots Of Friends = Long Life!
By now you’ve probably realized that excessive smoking, gorging on cholesterol-rich food, and being lazy aren’t the only passports to a shorter life span. Yes, loneliness can kill!
One of the most comprehensive studies done on human health involved 6,000 Americans whose day-to-day lives were analyzed for nearly a decade.
The researchers made sure that the subjects would come from different backgrounds to keep the study as accurate as possible. And what did they discover?
When the ten years were nearly up, the results showed that those individuals who had poor social support systems were two to three times more likely to die than those with strong social support systems!
This study was picked up by other researchers, who decided to see if the results transcend race or culture.
When a six-year study involving 17,000 Swedish men and women ended, it also showed similar results: those who were most socially isolated had nearly four times the risk of dying than those who were not.
GET CLOSE TO CLOSENESS
Get A Healthy Social Life!
The worst disaster a person will ever face in life is the disaster of finding himself or herself alone. Life was never meant to be lived alone. Even the early hermits who lived in the deserts would band together for fellowship and support.
The more you get yourself connected with others, the more you add strength, stamina and vitality to your life. Below are basic but practical suggestions for improving social health and increasing your chances of renewed life expectancy:
Remember That Family Always Comes First
The greatest social support you can ever get comes from your own family. The love, warmth and care of each family member, if nurtured, can create strong bonds that can withstand the pressures of modern-day society.
The popular 1980s television series Eight Is Enough was well-loved by many audiences because it portrayed a family sticking together despite the many challenges each member faces.
It’s true that life is short-so why shorten it more by alienating yourself from those who can love you the most? Doing things with your relatives or with your own family will bring some of the greatest joys to life-not just your own, but others as well.
Get Yourself Into Marriage, Or If Married, Get Yourself Into A Loving Relationship
Despite the kind of derision modern-day society paints on marriage, it still is the most stable and most secure union a man and a woman can get into.
Marriage isn’t just being able to live together morally and legally, but also a formalized obligation to make each other both happy and loved. Now who wouldn’t want such a thing?
Your Greatest Investment: Friendship
Bob Hope wasn’t just one of America’s best comedians but also one of the friendliest people on earth. He knew how to befriend other people, using his sense of humor to warm even the coldest personalities.
No wonder he had such a long and eventful life.
The best kind of investments you can make in life are the investments you make with others. Take time to meet new people, and renew old friendships. Stay in contact with old friends.
Create activities where you can do things together. It will definitely uplift your social and emotional life.
In 2000, a United Nations report on volunteer organizations estimated that over $100 billion dollars were saved through the volunteer efforts of many international organizations scattered around the globe.
This doesn’t include other small groups carrying out local service-oriented work. Volunteering doesn’t just do good for those around you, but also for yourself, because it makes you feel that life is indeed worth living.
Many social organizations need volunteers. There are a good number of volunteer organizations with websites, so you can surf the Web for information.
Volunteering is a great way to stay involved and help other people while finding social outlets for yourself. Why not be a big brother or sister to a young person who has no father or mother?
Be Active In An Organization Or A Group
An 88-year-old lady in Ireland has been playing the organ for her local church for the past 70 years, beginning when she was just 18. She directed the parish choir, organized choral festivals, set up free piano lessons for needy students, and even composed hymns.
This accomplished woman was recently given a clean bill of health by her doctor, who told her that she just needed to take some pills to keep her blood pressure normal.
Civic, community, church, and social organizations provide a venue to meet new people and develop lasting friendships.
It also keeps our bodies active by being major participants in various activities, events and functions. Join a group that has the kind of interests you have. Your support system will be simply immense.
Constantly Think Of Things You Can Do With Other People
We all love privacy, but privacy can kill. Think of things you can constantly do with others. If you need to go to the library, go with a friend.
If you need to do the groceries, do it with neighbor.
You can also do a variety of great things like inviting a family to your house for dinner, watch a movie together, go biking or hiking, join the local civic group, take a class, look for someone else who might be lonely?
For optimal social and mental health interact with other people as frequently as possible. Don’t isolate yourself. People are always more important than things.
Time spent with family and friends can bring you the greatest joys and help you enjoy a long and fulfilling life. Long life is not just a matter of eating the right kind of food or following the best kind of medical advice.
These and other factors help, but in order for your life to be complete, you must simply live it with the strong support of family, friends and loved ones. Start and end the day with someone.
It’s great to see the sunrise and sunset together, because it makes you realize that you can have a long and satisfying life if it’s entwined with another life, too.