The evidence that the human being is, in essence, a social being, is highly challenged by the multiplicity of activities and ways of spending time that we have today and that do not involve contact with another person, even digitally. The quantity and quality of the social relationships we establish today are radically different from those established 10, 20 or 30 years ago.
Is isolation at different ages an inevitable consequence of our choices or an inevitable choice with consequences?
Is it worth leaving the house? Is it worth calling?
Is it worth it?
What is the real impact of social relationships on me?
Research is very clear in showing an unequivocal relationship between social isolation and the enhancement of negative feelings such as sadness, loneliness and less expression of feelings of happiness, which consequently links it to some psychopathologies such as depression, pathological anxiety, among others…
Cerebrally, social isolation alters neuronal functioning in a way that can be equated with food deprivation, through a similar alteration in dopamine production, which justifies these psycho-emotional consequences.
Similarly, the deprivation of positive social relationships contributes to an increased risk of developing physical illness and/or weakening recovery. Numerous studies even correlate maintaining positive social relationships with greater longevity.
But what are we talking about when we talk about positive social relationships?
A positive social relationship is a connection between (at least) two people that is established in a context of spontaneity, mutual respect, assertiveness and acceptance. In any context where a connection can arise, there is the possibility of establishing a positive social relationship.
The way in which we predispose ourselves and make ourselves available for its establishment is closely related to self-knowledge, self-confidence and self-esteem. But these are skills that we can always work on and promote independently or with the help of specialized professionals.
We want each other to be mentally and physically healthier! To think, to feel and to do better for as long as possible:
- when we make new friends we promote our self-esteem, our ability to adapt and reduce stress;
- when we exercise together, we enhance its relaxing effects, compared to exercising alone;
- when we share a meal with company, we are fostering bonds but also the release of endorphins that help us feel better;
- when we make a phone call, when we are present, when we share moments with others…. we are boosting our quality of life, our physical health and our mental health!
In the family, at work, in our leisure activities, social contacts are opportunities to live longer and better! ☺