Being connected to other people – be they family, friends, or work peers is vital for optimal human flourishing and brain, mind and body health.
We are social beings, we have evolved to be part of a group or social network as it insured our survival. The gains of being connected include increased immunity, less brain pathology, stronger cardio-vascular health and psychological benefits such as increased happiness, less stress, greater coping and resilience, meaning and purpose, and greater life satisfaction. In fact a 10-year longitudinal study conducted by the Centre for Ageing Studies at Flinders University found that individuals with a large network of friends lived 22% longer than those who had the least number of friends.
Make 2015 a year of connections and add years to your life. Make regular contact with people you know, arrange get togethers with family, join clubs or groups to make new connections, volunteer, say yes to invitations, talk to your neighbours, say hello to strangers, put the device away and stop looking at screens – you just never know the interesting real people you just might meet.