“We never outlive our need or capacity to be useful.”
Have you wondered how important love and connection are when it comes to your life vitality? Imagine your physician giving you a prescription for good health and the script stated: “Keep yourself immersed in a community of people you love. Never stop making new friendships, yet continue to maintain old friendships, and remember to find time for family and others you love.”
Isn’t it good news that research proves it could be that simple and straightforward? Family and close friends, and human connectivity is correlated with longevity. It’s our relationships that are important for a meaningful life. Aging people who commit to staying active with others and make new friends feel valued. A retired minister, Richard Watts, was once quoted, “We never outlive our need or capacity to be useful,” and his words are true. We now understand that loving relationships are essential to our physical and mental wellbeing. Research proves that happiness and longer lives come from loving others and being loved. We humans are social creatures who benefit from interactions with people of various ages.
Loneliness Isn’t Good for Your Health
Healthy lifestyle changes are good for your health, but feelings of loneliness can reduce people to the depths of depression and mental illness. We need social interaction and our bodies can deteriorate from chronic inflammation without it. Inflammation can make us feel sick, which provides additional reasons to withdraw from social circumstances. In other words, loneliness compromises health by making us sick, which creates extended isolation from our friends and community.
Loving relationships can build our immunity, and help us to have less colds, flu or chronic illness. High blood pressure and cardiovascular disease are reduced by staying connected to others, too. Apparently, our personal connections are the antidote to many illnesses. Our bodies reap benefits from hormones whether we are the loving caregiver or recipient of the loving care. In either case, a loving relationship can counteract stress and inflammation from loneliness.
Social Activity and Wellbeing
We are better off surrounded by others, as we are more likely to take better care of ourselves, and especially when we have things on the calendar that we are looking forward to. If our friends are active, our activity increases, too. Healthy behaviors lead to healthy habits when there’s a connection with an active group. Knowing our life purpose with a sense of future brings a positive and bright outlook, which also brings protection to our brain and body.
The Brain and Social Interaction
Close relationships are simply good for us. Research affirms the benefits of social interaction and how it influences brain health. Conversing with others keeps us thinking sharply since we use more brain power interacting with others. It can challenge us to remember past details and understand new things.