Friends with health benefits

Friends with health benefits
Don’t just be a ‘social snacker’, go out there and make real friends to live longer and healthier.

Seeking sympathy online by constant updates about your personal life may not be interpreted as real friendships. In fact, it could only have an adverse effect on your mental health, say experts. What is needed is a genuine social circle in the real world that goes beyond the ‘likes’ and ‘latergrams’. Why? To live longer and healthier.

REACHING OUT

Research shows that one is at greater risk of heart disease without a strong network of friends and family. “In the past, isolation was considered the worst kind of punishment and it still is,” says psychologist Ekta Soni, adding, we all must have someone to share and vent out our thoughts with on an everyday basis. Loneliness can be just as dangerous as smok-ing in healthy people. Spending time with friends lowers your BP, reduces inflammation, which, in turn, can decrease the probability of a stroke.

STRONGER IMMUNITY

Going out to lunch with a friend, catching a movie with your spouse, or babysitting grandkids, aren’t just fun activities you do every day. They’re also essential for your health, according to scientific research. Social engagement is associated with a stronger immune system, especially for older adults. This means that you are better able to fight off colds, the flu, and even cancer.

BRAIN FITNESS

While for many of you socialising could be a mentally exhausting activity, it is actually an emotionally strengthening one in the long run. Any social activity that engages your brain and keeps it active is good for you. Studies show how people who connect with others perform better in cognitive tests and are less likely to develop dementia.

[“source-timesofindia”]

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