We are made to mingle. Socialisation is an important part of human development. It starts as early as birth with skin-to-skin contact and endless cuddles. As youngsters, we start to develop a sense of self and learn to enjoy rewarding relationships. Maintaining this social connection throughout life is important. Here’s why:
Did you know that staying social can boost your immune system by lowering stress levels? Stress is known to stifle the immune system making people more susceptible to illness and infection. Sharing a pleasant connection with others can trigger the release of stress-reducing hormones.
Mental Health Benefits
Social isolation can lead to feelings of loneliness and sadness, which in tun can lead to depression. Maintaining an active social life can enrich daily life and create a positive mindset. A healthy mind is also better for cognitive functions and can even reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
An active social life gets you out and about. It’s a great way to improve physical fitness without even realising it. Having fun and relaxing with friends can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
How to Stay Social
Now that we know pleasant social interaction is good for us, it’s never too late to start. Here are some easy ways to make and maintain social connections:
- Start with family. Brothers, sisters, cousins, nephews, and nieces are all people we’ve known for a long time. Invite a relative over for a cuppa and reminisce about a shared experience.
- Get out and about. A gentle stroll around the local park or shopping strip provides a great opportunity to strike up a chat with others.
- Join a local club. Community groups allow you to connect with others who share a common interest.
- Embrace technology. For those who find it difficult to leave the house, technology may be the answer. If you’re like me and don’t know a lot about mobile phones or devices, you may need to ask someone for help. Use FaceTime or a similar video chat app to make video calls from your mobile phone. Try social networking platforms such as Facebook or Instagram to stay connected with family and friends.
- There are many local groups that are always in need of volunteers. Popular avenues of volunteering include serving or distributing food, tutoring, teaching or mentoring, and collecting, making and distributing clothing.