Many people take social interactions for granted. While staying connected is effortless for some, there are many people who feel lonely and/or unmotivated to socialize. Mingling with others is more than just a good time; it is associated with many positive mental health outcomes. It's time to make socializing a priority.
There are numerous studies that link social interaction with mood. In general, people that have more social contact with others tend to be happier. In particular, face-to-face interaction appears to have the most positive impact. Lonely people, on the other hand, are more likely to suffer from depression. Furthermore, research shows that people who feel connected to others have higher self-esteem and greater empathy for others.
Protects Against Stress and Anxiety
Social interaction acts as an immunization against stress. Specifically, face-to-face contact releases neurotransmitters which guard against reactions to stress and anxiety, making us more able to cope with stressful situations. In addition, people who have adequate social support appear to cope more effectively with difficult life events.
Prevents Mental Decline
There appears to be a relationship between social interaction and cognitive functioning as we age. Research suggests that the more we mingle, the more we can prevent or delay the decline of our mental faculties. More specifically, consistent social interaction appears to protect the brain from memory loss and the incidence of dementia in older populations.
Social interaction is an essential component of our mental health. Maintaining regular social contact should always be a priority. Establishing relationships may take some work, but it is clearly worth it for overall emotional and cognitive health.
If you wish to learn more about this and related topics, visit the Mental Health section of our blog.
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