The Harmful Effects Of Social Isolation
We know that socializing is fun, but what many people don’t realize is that spending time around other people can also play a role in your health. Studies have shown that people who have frequent real life interaction with others tend to be have better overall health, physically and mentally. That’s because humans are naturally social creatures. Our natural tendency to form strong social bonds is one reason that the human species is so successful. We are naturally wired to take care of each other. Going through difficult times alone, or lacking emotional support and friendship, can increase our anxiety and decrease our coping abilities.
The Importance of Human Connection
Close connection with other people is one of our greatest sources of comfort. Decades of psychological research highlight the importance of human contact.
Feeling rejected or left out psychologically wounds us more deeply than almost anything else. Neuroscientists have also shown that exclusion can lead to the feeling of actual physical pain. Other studies show it increases levels of stress hormones in the body, leads to poor sleep, compromises the immune system, and causes cognitive decline. It is no secret that solitary confinement inflicts tremendous harm on the mental health of prison inmates.
In situations of uncertainty, the first thing we usually do is look at the reactions of others to figure out what is going on. Without others to share information and reactions, this confusion becomes very hard to resolve. If this occurs, our mind usually races to the darkest possible conclusions.
What does this say about the way we’re wired? It’s clear that meaningful connection to other people is as essential to our health as the air we breathe.
So whether you a prefer small, intimate gathering or loud, boisterous parties, the important thing is to enjoy spending time around friends.
Having a solid social network has been shown to have an impact physically and mentally, and it is often praised as the key to a long and healthy life.
Here are six great reasons why socializing is good for your health.
1. You’re More Productive
Now you have the perfect reason to go to lunch with your coworkers or to meet a friend for coffee. A study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that workers were more productive and happy when they went on breaks together. So take a step away from your desk and socialize, it may help you work more efficiently!
2. You’re Less Likely To Catch A Cold
According to a study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, highly social people are less likely to catch a cold. Interestingly, the research found that extroverts may have more robust immune systems.
3. Sleep Is Better
If you are having trouble sleeping at night, loneliness may be to blame. Studies found that people who are more socially isolated experience more nighttime restlessness and disruptions, even if they aren’t aware of their feelings of loneliness. The more fulfilling connections people had with others, the better they slept.
4. Improves Your Mood
For many of us, the last thing we want to do when we’re feeling down is to go out and socialize. But a study published in the journal Mind, Mood & Memory shows that connecting with others actually helps improve your mood and fight off depression. Also, face-to-face interactions have much more impact on mental well-being than social media or texts.
5. Keeps Your Brain Sharp
Active socializing delays memory loss as we age. Strong social ties can preserve our brain health, as social interaction can help keep us mentally engaged. So keep in touch with friends to keep your brain sharp.
6. You’ll Live Longer
If you want to live a long and healthy life, surround yourself with good friends. One study found that people with more social relationships live up to 50 percent longer than people who are more socially isolated.
Friends not only help you deal with stress better, but they can also encourage you to take better care of yourself. It’s a bonus if your friends also exercise together!