We are innately social beings and we all long for connection with others. Relationships bring joy, laughter, and often empathy to our lives, but more than just fun times, studies have shown that friendships help us live better and even longer!
A Harvard study found that physical impairments were less likely to develop in those who have many friends. In fact the results were so significant, the researchers concluded that not having close friends or confidantes was as detrimental to your health as smoking or carrying extra weight! Another group of researchers found that people who had no friends increased their risk of death, while those who had the most friends cut their risk by more than 60%!
When our lives get hectic social time seems the first thing to be cut out, but that’s exactly when we need it the most.
Make time for the friendships you have, but be open to meeting new people too. Considering joining a club or picking up a new hobby. Explore your interests and find others who share them, chances are you will have more in common than you might initially think! Random encounters with people we cross paths with can bloom into the most rewarding relationships, but you have to start with being open to meeting others and the possibility of a new friendship starting. Whether its in your work environment, grocery stores, banks, gas stations, coffee shops, schools, airports – anywhere your life takes you, be it within your own community or out in the great big world, there are plenty of people for you to connect with.
It sounds terribly cliché, but when you are nice to people they are generally nice back, and you can also meet some very interesting people who just may become your friends.
So go ahead! Smile at a stranger. Offer a helping hand. Have a random conversation. Chances are you’ll both benefit! Surround yourself with people who are happy and have a strong sense of purpose.
The more social connections we have, the better one’s overall health. Check out the video on this topic here