It is well documented that human beings are social animals. Therefore, we do not do well in social isolation. People who are socially isolated generally don’t make enough contact with friends and family. They also tend not to belong to any social group. However, there are so many health risks associated with social isolation. If you want to ensure optimal health, it is therefore important that you spend some time with friends and family.
These are the following ways by which spending time with friends can be of use to your health.
Spending Time With Friends May Extend Your Life
Research has shown that social ties increase life span with such effect that could be quantified as being an equivalent of the effect of quitting smoking or twice the effect regular exercise would have on you. In other words, if your social interaction is healthy, you are more likely to live a long life.
Social isolation causes chronic stress which can physically manifest through the wearing and tearing down of body tissues. Having friends to spend time with dissipates accumulated stress.
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You Become Healthier
Living in social isolation is a health risk by itself. Studies reveal that health markers like the body mass index, blood pressure, and waist circumference are significantly worse in people who live in isolation in comparison to people with strong social ties.
It is reported that lacking social connection is guaranteed to double the risk of your blood pressure becoming significantly higher than normal. This is higher than the rate at which some diseases raise the risk. Diabetes, for example, increases the risk of high blood pressure by 70%. This shows that lacking social connection can be a deadly health risk.
Your Mind Stays Sharp
A study conducted in 2012 shows that the risk of older people having dementia increases with little or no social interaction. This shows why it is important to have friends that keep your mind fit and aligned.
However, this study didn’t declare the feeling of being lonely or lack of social interaction as the cause of dementia. What it shows us the association and connection of the two. So, it can be said that lacking social interaction may contribute to dementia.
Friends Influence Us
Having friends who have a healthy work-life balance is very important. A lot of behavior and attitudes are contagious. People get influenced by their friends for better or for worse. A lot of people have been living healthy as a result of the influence of their friends. If you have a friend who exercises, watches her weight and eats healthily, you are likely to follow her footsteps and get yourself a healthy work-life balance.
Friends Help You Through Tough Times
‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’. What is left unsaid about this popular saying is that everyone needs someone to lean on? Having someone to talk to, someone’s shoulder to rest on, someone you can share the weight of your burden with help as shown by a study published in 1989. Women with breast cancer who had support groups lived a life of better quality and longer than women who were not assigned to any support group.
Friends Will Help You Cope With Rejection
When your other relationships don’t go as smoothly as planned, friends will always be there to help pick you up. Friends will offer you support in the face of tough adversities and help you forge ahead. Having a friend who helps you cope with rejection definitely reduces stress and the hormones that get secreted by the body when you are stressed. Stress hormone levels are higher in people who keep getting left out than people who are associated with. Having friends gives you a sense of association, therefore, reducing your stress level.
Friendships Can Last Forever
Keeping a friendship alive for a long time is emotionally rewarding. It gives you pleasure and thrills every time you catch up. Every hang outcomes with its own joy and satisfaction. This helps you stay healthy and strong. After all, a happy woman is a healthy woman.