Having just spent the weekend in Palm Springs with my girlfriends, I realize even more the importance of bonding time. Technically we flew down for a conference but by Sunday afternoon as we lounged in the sun poolside, ordering lunch, and laughing about inside jokes, it was clearly a weekend for rejuvenation as well. As it turns out, having healthy relationships with family, friends, and children is every bit as important as exercise, eating healthy, and not smoking.
Some facts about relationships from the research:
1. People with good relationships were 50 percent less likely to die early than those without.
2. Not having social relationships is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes per day.
3. Not having social interactions was like being an alcoholic, more harmful than not exercising, and twice as harmful as being obese.
4. Social relationships had a bigger impact on health than taking blood pressure medication.
5. Lack of social interaction increases your risk for depression and anxiety.
6. Lack of social interaction also increased your risk for heart disease.
7. Seniors lead healthier, happier lives with more social interactions.
8. Good relationships can improve healing time if sick, especially with chronic conditions.
9.Having good quality social outlets can lead to better sleep and more satisfaction with life.
10. Healthy relationships and social outlets can improve cancer outcomes.
By nature, humans are social creatures and it’s important for our stress response and health that we interact on a regular basis. Getting together with your friends, spending family time together, and enjoying your co-workers can make a huge impact on your life. Take the time to treasure those around you because it’s as important to you as it is to them. If you don’t have many social outlets then create them! Take up a class, join a gym, find a hobby, and call your family! It’s important to your health!