Social Connections

Save Your Life… get a REAL Social Connection –

It’s pretty clear that eating a healthy diet, exercising, taking good supplements, not smoking, and (having your hormones balanced – had to add that…) are all factors linked to longevity. Perhaps the most ignored but a powerful strategy for health is being a social butterfly.

It’s hard to believe that we are all so intricately connected to our world. We have numerous ways in which each of us is somehow connected to others and our world, by the computer, phone, TV, or other ways. We have more social interconnectedness than we have ever had before.  So why are we so socially unconnected?

Why do people feel so alone, and at the soul disconnected?  Good question.

Thirty years ago when we were significantly less disconnected socially and technically, many people relied on “meeting up.”

Talking in person, having lunch, coffee, or on the phone. We didn’t substitute an email – for a “face to face.” We didn’t typically have 100+ friends on a website that we posted three –to-four sentences about what we are doing that moment.  We typically either kept that to ourselves, orsaved it for when we got together in person to chat about it.  Let’s face it – it’s a LOT of communication and information.

Humans are social beings, and we actually do live and survive through out social connections.  The wonderful power of social behavior, or “meeting up,” can give us energy, heal many of our hurts, help to identify our weaknesses, bring out the best in us, and can give us purpose.

Researchers at Brigham Young University, looked at 148 studies on social interactions and their conclusions were that those that had planned and regular social interactions, including family, friends, and colleagues – improved the odds of survival by more than 50%.  Surprisingly, those in the study that had very limited or no social connectedness had comparable heath status to smoking 15 cigarettes per day, being an alcoholic, not exercising, and obesity.

Researcher Kenneth Kendler, noted that social support through physical engagements with others, reduced depression significantly in men and women, but even more significantly in men.  Other research has shown that social connectedness supports the very delicate stress response in the brain, providing significantly more controlled cortisol (stress hormone) production.  Which helps with anxiety, mood swings, glucose regulation, and sleep – all which ultimately affects mood greatly. Here are some quick tips for making a face-to-face connection this week!

10 Tips on REAL Creating Social Connections

  1. Reconsider the Internet as your ONLY social support. It remains to be seen whether the Internet social networks can really provide the same sort of health and mood benefits as being tied, connected or interacting with another inpidual.  This superficial connection is often not deep enough to really help someone feel“heard”, confirmed, supported, and energized.  Consider having other social connections too, and make it a priority to meet with someone. If youhave no friends, or family to confide in – find someone and be the best friend you can be. Give it time to grow and make sure you are giving of yourself to the relationship in order to help it mature.
  2. Visit or call to meet a neighbor or co-worker, or relative that you do not typically spend much time with.  Most people have met someone that they would like to get to know more. and feel that they can relate to. Now is your time.  Make it a point to call them.
  3. Engage in a sports activity or just a walk with someone you know would enjoy that specific activity. Not only are walking and sports activities great for you physically, but also it is a wonderful way to break the ice, loosen you up and connect with something n common to talk about initially.
  4. Go on a DATE – this could be with your partner, or another couple with you. It could be a new date – you’ve been wanting to get to know. It could be anyone that you feel would enhance your connections.
  5. Socialize as a family. While this may be a thing of the past, due our hectic world today, familiesthat take time out to meet with other families socially encourage connectedness and family bonding.  Have someone over for dinner and games!
  6. Get out from behind your TV or computer screen. Real world relationships are largely nonverbal – you have to be face to face to really communicate well.
  7. Volunteer – do something that helps others and has a beneficial effect on how you feel about yourself!
  8. Be a “joiner”. Find groups that will help open up common interests and potential friends
  9. Write to a family member. Tell them how much you appreciate them!
  10. Call a friend. Don’t email them, call them! Just show up for those that you love!

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