Social connections and health

Introduction

      We need social connections to be healthy and social connections have both advantages and disadvantages to your health. 

        Read more to know about the benefits and disadvantages of social connections to your health, In-person interactions, and social media interactions.

Benefits of social connections to your health

Social connections, relationships and interactions with other individual is crucial to your mental health. 

And a good mental health will always lead to a better physical health. 

Studies have shown that strong social connections can help you to.  

Decrease stress hormones

Strengthen your immune system 

Create a positive environment 

Get a support at your hard times

Get rid of addictions

Have longer life span 


Social connections decrease your stress hormones 


One study showed that kids who had a negative experience, felt better and also had lower levels of cortisol or the stress hormone when their best friend was present with them.

A research also showed that few minutes of chat on a social topic can boost our set of mental skills which help us to solve problems and to learn.

Friends can increase your frequency of laughter and laughter also help you to reduce stress, improves your mood.

So, surrounding yourself with your friends and family will reduce your stress hormones.  


Social connections strengthen your immune system 

In the British medical journal, Prof B M Hegde said that your own mind hating someone will lead to damage to your own body.

But your mind loving others and being compassionate to others will lead to strengthening of the immune system, and better functioning of the body.

Depression decreases the fighting ability of your immune system.

Spending time with your friends, and family will help you to get rid of your depression, which will result in raising the level of your immune system.

Build strong connections in your workplaces, cities and in your life to have a better immune system. 


Social connections can create a positive environment 

Talking, smiling, laughing with friends and family will result in positive emotions in you.

These positive emotions in yourself and in your friends or family lead to a positive environment.


Social connections get you a support during your hard times


When a person is beaten down by life, then that person has a high stress level and has a higher chance of going into a depression.

Friends and family prevent loneliness, and they can be a great way to reduce your stress and the chances of going into a depression. 

Friends and family are not only the people who can give you a support during your hard times, it can be other people like a sports coach or the other trusted adults.

Children and teens need support of friends and family to perform better in life.

Because whenever a child or a teen is beaten down by life or stressed due to some problems, then the friends and family can give them guidance to handle their problems or stress in a much better way.

Family can be a great source of motivation for children being better in life. And even, we need strong social connections to solve and tolerate the different kinds of problems. 

It's important to have strong social connections in your life to have a better life. 


Social connections can help you to get rid of addictions

Good social connections can also help you to get rid of addictions and this method was also used by Portugal to help the addicts to regain control over their addictions. 

A study also found that people talk about their problems, with their friends and family, which helps them to reduce stress, and helps them to stay away from drinking alcohol, smoking and drugs.

A good social connection can get you a sense of social support which helps you to handle your problems and stress in a much better way.

Instead of consuming alcohol, drugs and tobacco to get relief from your stress or escaping from your problems or reality.


Social connections can help you to have longer lifespan 

Julianne Holt Lunstad who is a researcher at Brigham Young University recorded and analyzed all the aspects of lifestyle of thousands of middle aged people like their diet, exercise, martial status, whether they smoked or consumed alcohol etc. 

The end results showed that the top strong predictors of their life span were their close relationships and social integration. 

So, the close relationships are those people who will help you, if you're having an existential crisis or when you are in need of some money or who consoles you at your rough times. 

Social integration means how you interact with people who you meet in your everyday life, like the postman, your neighbor and the person who you see everyday in the gym or at the park. 

These people are not important to you as compared to people who are in close relationship with you, but the way you interact with them, is also a strong predictor of your lifespan. 

Some animals also have better social connections which help them to live longer and survive in the forests.

The bottom line is to love everybody and not to hate anybody, building strong connections with people helps you to get a lot health benefits which helps you to live longer. 


Disadvantages of social connections to your health



Not all social connections are good, a person who is constantly negative or always try to bring you down can make you cause some stress 

This kind of social connections or relationship can lead to a negative social connection.

Poor marital or poor relationship quality can also weaken your immune system, it can also harm your mental and physical health. 

These poor relationships lead to over consuming of food or alcohol, smoking or taking medications to deal with the stress. 

Someone that always talks about themselves and makes all of your interactions about them, then that's not really a social connection. 

Social connections can sometimes become a disadvantage for you.

If you have social connections with the negative people and it can be anyone like a friend of yours who is addicted to drugs, the people who are jealous of your success or the people who is trying to bring you down. 

These people can cause some harm to your health and to your life. 

So, if you have any poor relationship, then try to make it better and if you have any enemies in your life, kill them by making them your friends. 

If that's not possible, then try not to think about them and try to stay away from the negative people. 

Don't let them disturb your peace of your mind. Just be happy, focus on your goals and things which will make you a better person and always have a smile on your face 


In-person interactions are more valuable than social media interactions


Face to face contact, shaking hands, giving somebody high five releases neurotransmitters that build trust, reduce stress, kill pain and induce pleasure.

Dancing with people gives you so many health benefits because it includes face to face contact and different types of moves. It is also a way of in-person interaction.

Strong and real in person friends, connections, interactions create a biological force of field against disease. 

It also helps you to fight against mental problems, strengthen your immune system and helping you to fight against diseases. 

Elizabeth Redcay, a neuroscientist at the University of Maryland, found that the brain areas that is associated with attention and social intelligence becomes much more engaged when we're  interacting with a live partner. 

These in person friendship, interaction and connections not only benefits the humans, but also the animals like female baboons and lions which live in a group. 

Social media interactions or connections are not a good alternative for face to face interactions. Too much time on social media can lead to more isolation and a greater feeling of loneliness. 

There are many celebrities who have millions of followers in Instagram and Facebook, but still they go through depression and stress. It's very much important to use social media in moderation. 

So, to be healthy, we need people in our life, it doesn't need to be 1000 social media friends and we don't need everyone to like us. 

Strong relationships with just a few people is fine, with whom we can share our good and bad moments. 

And another important thing is to have a good social integration.


Conclusion

    Social connections in your life are an important factor which determines your overall health. 

    It's important to have a better social connection with the people around you and get the positive benefits of social connections. 

    At the same time you should know how to protect yourself from predators or the negative people and try not to build strong bonds with those negative people. 

Siddharth

Siddharth is an amazing web content writer in health, lifestyle and fitness.

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