“We never outlive our need or capacity to be useful.”
Have you thought about the importance of love and connection when it comes to your life vitality? Imagine if your doctor gave you a prescription for good health and the script simply stated: “Keep yourself surrounded by people you love and consistently make new friendships. Maintain your old friendships and always make time for family and those you love.”
The good news is that research shows that it actually could be that simple. Your family and friends and your emotional connectivity with them has a strong correlation with longevity. Relationships are of the utmost importance in a life that is well-lived. People who stay active within their community find new friends and feel highly valued. A retired minister, Richard Watts, once said, “We never outlive our need or capacity to be useful.” And these were words of truth, as we now know that our loving relationships are vital to our physical, as well as mental, well-being. Research proves that humans become happier and live longer by loving and being loved. We are all social creatures that benefit from the loving interactions with people of all ages.
Loneliness Can Be Bad for Your Health
Of course, diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle is good for your health to a certain extent, but feelings of loneliness can lower you to the depths of depression and illness. Without enough social interaction, our bodies can deteriorate from chronic inflammation, which spirals us downward. Inflammation makes us feel awful, and that leads us more reasons to withdraw from social circumstances. Therefore, loneliness can compromise good health and it can create extended isolation from the benefits of gathering with the community.
Solid relationships build our immunity and help us to suffer less from colds, flu, and chronic illness. High blood pressure and cardiovascular disease are seen less often with those who are connected. The personal connection appears to be the veritable antidote to many harmful effects of loneliness. The body is able to reap benefits from powerful hormones whether you are a caregiver or the recipient of loving care. Either way, it has been found that a loving relationship can counteract stress and inflammation.
Social Activity and Wellbeing
Just as with other social animals, we are better staying active and healthy surrounded by others. We take better care of ourselves when we have things to look forward to. When our friends are active, we desire the increased activity, too. Healthy behaviors become habits with a connection to an active group. A sense of life purpose and a positive future brings a positive and bright outlook. A calendar with future events posted with a strong bonding of loved ones protects both – brain and body.
Social Interaction and the Brain
Close relationships are good for our brains. Research continually affirms the fact that social interaction influences good brain health. Communicating with others helps us to think clearly and sharply. We have to use more brain power when we interact with others because it challenges us to remember past details, plus learn new things.