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Being Social is Good for What Ails You

Humans are inherently social.  We are wired for connection.  We crave relationships.  We enjoy and will actually thrive when we are actively connected to one another.  

Research proves that staying active, as we age, has a variety of health benefits.  Being socially active provides benefits too.  Everyone realizes the need and value of exercise for a high quality of life, the connections you make with others and the relationships you continue to build also have a major impact on your overall wellness.

Creating social relationships and connecting with other people is a huge part of what shapes us throughout our lives. Whether you are shy or have the gift to gab, maintaining a socially active lifestyle can impact your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. In fact, staying engaged in social interactions can be just as effective as exercise in improving your mood and overall health.

Social health and well-being refers to the relationships we have and how we interact with others. The way we develop authentic relationships with others to create caring and supportive connections can provide many health benefits throughout our lives.  Maintaining strong relationships is important to our overall well-being.  As we age, forming new relationships can become more challenging.   

Start with the basics.  The first social group we all have is our family.  So, take the time to strengthen and nurture those familial relationships that were once active.  Since you have known these people the longest, it is a great place to start.  Then branch out beyond family members to create more relationships.

There are a variety of ways to get socially involved. 

  • Volunteer – this will give you a purpose and create some new people in your life.
  • Find a hobby – practicing something you have fun with will bring you joy and may help you meet new people.
  • Learn something new – maybe you have always to learn to play a musical instrument –  do it, take a pottery class or try painting with watercolors.
  • Travel – this does not have to be international travel, start small.  Visit your city parks with a friend or neighbor.  Pack a lunch to take along to add to the experience.  
  • Enjoy lifelong learning opportunities that may be offered through your local senior center, churches, or area colleges.  

Make it a goal to be actively involved with others, connect, and nurture those friendships. 

And remember…being social is good for what ails you.  

By Susie Ray, Marketing Director of The Arbordale, an independent living community in Urbandale, Iowa. Learn more about having a comfortable and convenient autumn season at TheArbordale.com.