A Friend a Day can Keep the Doctor Away...
As the holiday season ends and the family festivities start to slow down, it can feel pretty easy for everyone to go back to their own corners until the next special occasion rolls around bringing everyone back together again.
However, relationships are important to maintain throughout the year, especially as one gets older. Relationships outside of the family become just as relevant and are shown to help with mental and even physical help.
Having deeply rooted friendships have been proven to help with longevity, memory and the immune system. In fact, studies have shown that strains in friendships have “predicted more chronic illnesses over a six-year period.”
There is also a strong correlation between having a strong social life and staying active. Often, having a friend or a group of friends provides some form of encouragement to stay active, whether it is going to the gym with a gym partner or simply going out for daily “walk and talks.”
Being completely isolated for too long can be called the “loneliness epidemic” or “chronic loneliness” and it can increase the chances of developing issues such as diabetes or heart failure.
Staying social and maintaining friendships has been associated with lowering the risks of developing dementia and reducing feelings of depression. Several organizations have recognized the benefits of having an active social life and have facilitated several ways of doing so.
A simple search can lead to several community events to meet new people in the area or to go with familiar folks. There are also groups of shared interests that can be found online. These groups tend to meet regularly and can also be a great way to start a new hobby, or revisit an old one, with great company.