Social Ties Are Good For Your Health…

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: June 16, 2014

 “People Who Need People Are The Luckiest People In The World”

Do you all remember Barbara Streisland singing that song?  Well, the words to that song illustrate the connection between friendship, health and our happiness.  It’s important to understand the importance of friendships in your life.

Studies indicate that friendships garner social support which helps improve our health, happiness, and longevity. Some studies focus on short-term health benefits such as reduced incidence of colds and flu. Other research claims that having friends correlates with longer life by preventing loneliness. Still other studies have found that people have better survival rates for diseases when they have social support.

Here’s a brief list of the benefits of social support through friendship with others:

  • Boosts your happiness
  • Increases your sense of belonging and purpose
  • Reduces your stress
  • Improves your self-confidence and self-worth
  • Helps you cope with  life’s traumas (divorce, illness, job loss or death of a loved one)
  • They may also encourage you to change unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise

So, staying connected with family members, friends, and keeping a social network is important for our mental and physical well-being.

Attending Red Hot Mamas programs are a great way of connecting with other women and joining our community forum talking to other women will help to build new friendships.

Here are some other ideas that might help you garner new friendships:

  • Attend community events. Get together with a group of people working toward a goal you believe in, such as an election or the cleanup of a natural area. Find a group with similar interests in an activity, such as gardening, reading or making crafts.
  • Join a new gym. And get healthy and fit, too.
  • Volunteer. Offer your time at a hospital, place of worship, museum, community center, charitable group or other organization. You can form strong connections when you work with people who have mutual interests.
  • Extend and accept invitations. Invite a friend to join you for coffee or lunch. When you’re invited to a social gathering, say yes. Contact someone who recently invited you to an activity and return the favor.
  • Talk to people. Don’t be frightened to introduce yourself, ask questions, and just be interested in what others have to say.  Talk to 5 new people a day.
  • Stay in touch with people.  In our technology age it’s easy.  You can Face Time or Skype with friends, send texts from your telephone, e mail, or even write a letter to stay connected.
  • Form quality relationships by being attentive and supportive of people and make a point to show your gratitude for their friendship.
  • Nurture friendships that will be there for you through thick and thin

And, in closing, the quality of the friendship should count more than the quantity of friends you have.   Maintaining good friendships takes effort, but the enjoyment friendship can provide, makes the investment worthwhile. It will pay off in your having better health and a brighter outlook in the years ahead.

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