The Health Benefits of Socializing with Friends
Posted on August 12th, 2020
Did you know that being social was crucial to your practice of self-care? This is where you prioritize the relationships in your life, especially when it comes to friends. These are the people outside of your family and significant other, and it is one area that too many of us forget to nurture.
Life gets busy. We get caught up in our work and spending time with our kids, and we forget to take care of the friendships we have formed. Although the people you see on a daily basis, such as your co-workers, significant other, and kids help fill the role of socialization, it is not enough to maintain a healthy balance.
This is because these interactions revolve around the needs of others. You’re worried about getting your work done, taking care of your kids, and meeting your spouse’s needs. Socializing should be about fulfilling one of your most natural needs… the need to socialize with others without any obligations.
The Importance of Socializing
Making the time and putting in the effort to socialize is crucial. We are social creatures, and socialization is crucial to our overall health. Socialization was vital for our ancestors’ survival, and today, it is just as essential to our survival and wellbeing.
Socialization helps us form our own values and beliefs, adhere to norms, and develop a sense of normal behavior. It is a core part of our psychological health and can even impact our physical health.
Here are various ways socializing helps us stay healthy:
Improves Mental Health
Socializing with friends has a big impact on your mental and emotional health. When you make socializing part of your self-care routine, you may have a lower risk of depression, anxiety, OCD, and addiction. When you socialize, you build a sense of belonging and community, which can ease mood and insecurity.
Socialization has also been shown to help keep you mentally sharp as you age by keeping your brain engaged. This also lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s disease as you age.
Boosts Quality of Life
As we grow older, research has shown a strong link between loneliness and health issues, making the lack of socialization a major factor in the risk of disease, functional decline, and fatality.
Promotes Purpose & Belonging
Socializing gives an individual a sense of purpose and a feeling of being part of a community. When you socialize with others, you are more likely to feel as though you are part of something bigger than yourself.
You also get a sense of support, security, and entertainment. This can come from confiding in others while comfortably sharing feelings and ideas without the fear of judgment.
When you spend time with others, you are less likely to feel lonely and have higher confidence in yourself. This sense of belonging and support can help lower stress and support a positive mindset.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Studies have shown that socializing has the ability to lower blood pressure, and the lack of socializing is a predictor of one developing hypertension. Having high blood pressure can lead to higher risks of stroke and heart disease.
Not focusing on your social health can greatly impact your physical health, making you more susceptible to disease. Perhaps this is due to the psychological impact socializing has on a person and their stress levels.
How to Improve Your Social Self-Care Routine
Make time for Quality Time with Friends
The people you keep in touch with in your life plays a large part in your social health. It isn’t just about having friends, but having good friends and being selective about who fills your life.
When we talk about having friends to socialize with, we don’t mean just people you occasionally see as acquaintances. We are talking about deep, lasting friendships that enrich your life and provide a sense of stability and security.
Surround yourself with people who have your best interests at heart and make time for them. Don’t take your friendships for granted, or you may find yourself friendless and feeling more isolated and alone than ever.
Feeling isolated can lead to more stress, which can then have an impact on your health.
Join a Social Club or Group
Meeting new people can be difficult, but it is important for several reasons!
First, while you need to make time for your friends and make an effort to stay in touch with them, you must first have those friends. If you are in the market for new friends and are looking to set the foundation for new relationships, you need to get out there and meet new people.
The second reason you should meet new people is to stay socially engaged and introduce yourself to new perspectives and viewpoints. Meeting new people who you can engage in new conversations with is stimulating and good for your overall mental health.
When you join or social club or group, you know that the people you meet with have similar interests that you can connect with. Try joining a book club, sports team, or a social meet-up in your town.
Have a One-on-One Dinner with a Friend
Spending time with a group of friends is great, and you should definitely make time for that, but it is also good to spend one-on-one time with your friends as well. This can strengthen relationships and deepen bonds, leading to a larger sense of security and support. It also allows you to get to know your friend on a more personal level and gives your friend a chance to know you better.
Although you and your group of friends may be as close as can be, sometimes you just need to get out of that group dynamic. This is what helps build those life-long relationships, which are essential to living a happy and fulfilled life.
Reconnect with a Lost Friend
Over time, it is natural for friends to drift apart. We change and grow apart, or we lose touch after a long-distance move. It isn’t uncommon for even the best friendships to fade.
However, just because some relationships fade, doesn’t mean they are forgotten or unimportant. If you’ve lost touch with someone you want back in your life, reach out to them. Reconnect with them. Chances are, they would be thrilled to hear from you.
Reconnecting to past relationships can bring back feelings of nostalgia, which is linked to more happiness, and less stress and anxiety.
Whether the reconnection is short-lived and spent reminiscing over the past, or you and your friend continue the friendship and once again become close, reconnecting with those we’ve lost touch with can be a great social experience.
In Quarantine? Schedule a Virtual Call
If you are reading this during the COVID-19 pandemic, taking care of your personal self-care social aspect may be challenging.
If you are distancing yourself from others, try setting up virtual calls with your friends. Schedule an online Happy Hour or set aside some time for you to spend time with others. Set up a virtual meeting where everyone is on camera, and you can see one another.
While this isn’t as good as being in-person, it is still an important step to take if you are quarantining or social distancing.
You can even join online groups and communities to meet new people, just you would a group in-person. The key goal should be to interact with others and work to strengthen the relationships in your life.
Don’t Forget to Take Care of Your Physical and Nutritional Health!
When focusing on personal care, most of what we try to work on all leads back to our physical health or mental health. The best way to take care of yourself is through the foods you eat and the foods you don’t eat.
Drop the processed foods, soy, dairy, and gluten to lead a healthier, more fulfilling life. You can start doing this with Detox Organics Daily Superfoods, the chocolate detoxing supplement made with over 25 organic superfoods. Each ingredient in this supplement has been carefully chosen to help you focus on your health by lowering inflammation, boosting energy and focus, and optimizing your body’s ability to detox all the toxins and heavy metals we take into our body every day.
Caring for yourself is more than just your nutrition and physical health. It also has to do with how you live your life and how you work to improve every aspect to lower stress and increase happiness.
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