This time of year, I take time off to visit family and spend extra time with friends and count my blessings for these positive relationships that I sometimes take for granted. I know I’m not the only one. Many of us don’t realize the great health benefits we are getting from having this joy in our lives.
Studies have shown that loneliness and a lack of social connection are linked with an increased risk of early mortality as well as depression and dementia. One study even suggests that a lack of social connection has a similar health impact as smoking 15 cigarettes a day!
And, this is true for both those who are physically isolated from their loved ones as well. It’s not just physical separation that impacts up. It’s also the feeling of loneliness even when surrounded by family and friends (i.e. perceived loneliness).
Health Benefits of Positive Relationships
The health benefits of nurturing these relationships are significant. They are just as important as paying attention to our diet, exercise and sleep routines.
Bonus: We are in Control
Important to note is that the perception of the positivity of these relationships can make all the difference. This is fantastic since it means that we are all in control of the great benefits we are able to receive.
In my opinion, one of the best ways to receive the benefits of strong relationships with others is to reach out and make the connection. So I challenge you to reach out today to a friend or family member. Ask them to share a meal with you. You may just make their day (and your own as well!).
Nurturing relationships is something that I truly enjoy, so I hope that you will join my Facebook community where I will be posting regularly with inspirational quotes and providing recipes.
Here is the link to join the From Aging to Energy 40+ FB Support Group