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Some recent research (summarized nicely in the WSJ) has shown a nice correlation between socializing and life longevity (and quality). It’s no surprise though, as we are social animals. Surely some people are more extroverted than others and some people really need their alone time, but there are a handful of hypothesizes about why social contact with other people can extend a person’s life. It may be as simple as having someone to call a doctor for you or as complex as physiological changes that occur when we interact with other people (e.g., increased oxytocin).
Regardless, it makes sense to make sure you are connected with other people, interacting with them in a meaningful way and deriving pleasurable benefit from these interactions. So throw a party, call up an old friend or grab lunch with a colleague. It’s often difficult to start friendships. Luckily we now have resources that make this much easier such as sites like MeetUp.com. I frequently recommend that people – – particularly those who are more isolated, new to town or just shy – – browse MeetUp.com to find like-minded people to socialize with. It still requires effort and time, but it’s a nice, non-threatening way to reach out and connect with other people.