Socializing and making friends is fun, but did you know about the other benefits of connecting with the people around us? Studies have suggested that socializing frequently can help you live a healthier and happier life.
Social interaction has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression by reducing feelings of loneliness, isolation and anxiety. Confiding in a friend can do wonders for your confidence and self-esteem, making you feel happier. For those of us who may be coping with a disease or condition, social interaction allows us to continue with our daily life and feel as normal as possible.
Studies have suggested that socializing may be as effective as a daily crossword puzzle for improving the mind. Increased social interaction improves brain function as it constantly engages and exercises the mind, while maintaining cognitive function helps ward off dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Even as we age, it’s important to maintain close relationships and large social networks. Research has shown that memory, activity levels and cognitive function are all improved by social activity and engagement.
Busy schedules make it difficult to keep in touch with those around us and know what’s going on in each other’s lives. Use meal times to socialize, it’s the best way to maintain family bonds, improve mental health and prevent isolation. Studies have also shown that children from families that regularly eat their meals together have more advanced vocabulary and do better in school, academically and behaviorally.
Try to be at home and eat dinner as a family at least three times a week, not only will it support your own mental health, but those around you too.
Research suggests that workers are happier and more productive when they are able to take breaks at the same time, compared to when breaks are staggered. Engaging in face-to-face interactions provides psychological and physical reassurance, whether that’s talking about your weekend or sharing information to tackle problems we face at work.
Next time you’re lacking motivation at work, take a coffee break with colleagues. It helps strengthen your social group and is positively linked to productivity.
With the rise in online interaction, face-to-face bonding is being replaced and potentially leading people to become lonely and isolated. Making time for personal relations can be the key to a happier and healthier life. Speak to family, friends and colleagues often to reap the benefits of socializing.