Socializing is Good for the Heart and Mind

Spending time with friends and family you care about is not just fun; it is good for your health. Regular socializing is linked to a host of health benefits. And although we mostly associate the benefits of regular socializing with the elderly, the benefits apply to all of us.

Defining Socializing

Socializing does not always involve large events, like weddings, birthdays, and holidays. In its simplest form, socializing is just interaction with others and the world around us. Social activities can be work-related or non work-related. Volunteering, going to the movies, going out to eat, talking on the phone, in person or online are all forms of socializing. And while not all interactions are positive, some socializing is better than none.

Benefits of Regular Socializing

Studies show that people who socialize regularly
live longer and healthier lives than those who do not. Regular socializing is believed to decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other dementia related diseases. Additionally, studies show that socializing reduces the risk of depression and anxiety, promotes better sleep patterns, provides a boost to the immune system, and leads to healthy blood pressure levels.
According to some research studies, social interaction is as beneficial to your health and longevity as physical exercise.

Obstacles to Socializing

Let’s face it, some people are more comfortable socializing than others. Personality traits such as shyness lessen the likelihood of socializing. Also, life circumstances, such as unemployment, self-employment, and retirement decrease the opportunity to socialize at work. Lack of money may also lead to a lower degree of socializing.

Being More Socially Active

Most opportunities for socializing occur in the workplace. Many of us establish life long relationships with co-workers. But, the workplace is not the only place where you can meet and interact with others. Every time you go out to the grocery store, hair salon, or bank you have an opportunity to socialize. Other things you can do to be more socially active that you probably are not doing now include:
  1. Join a fitness club
  2. Join a church or community group
  3. Join a professional association
  4. Join your neighborhood association
  5. Join a book club
  6. Take a cooking or other short instructional class
Use it or lose it

Sound evidence exist that socializing is good for your health and can prolong your life. Socializing is believed to be as important as exercising and eating right. It allows your
brain to remain engaged and functional. It is also much easier to do than a push-up.
Good For You Companion Articles: