One is the Loneliest Number: Find Community to Get Happy
Christine Chen | My Soul
What’s the secret to health and happiness? It could be… increasing the number of people in your life. As much as you love your alone time, make a point to connect with others. One study found that if you spend 6-7 hours per day socializing, you are 12 times more likely to be happier!
Here are some ways to get more people in your life – for happiness and good health.
Choose one happy friend and make a date immediately
Happiness can multiply, according to a study published in the National Institutes of Health. People who are surrounded by happy people are more likely to be happy themselves. Researchers found that one person’s happiness triggers a chain reaction that could last for a year: one person makes a friend happy… who makes another friend happy… and so on. Plan a get together and start spreading happiness!
Have a mix of three types of relationships
Toni Antonucci, a University of Michigan professor of psychology, says you need three types of relationships: very close, close and not-so-close. All three are meaningful and play different roles. Very close relationships give you ultimate trust and security, close relationships provide a sense of kinship, and the not-so-close relationships feed you with light interaction. Family or friends – there’s no magical formula. The important thing is to mix it up.
Seek out a meetup
If you spend time with people who share your interests, whether it’s musical theater or science fiction, you are comforted in being understood. A 2012 survey of thousands of British adults found that having regular contact with 10 or more friends had a significant impact on an individual’s happiness level. Follow your interests to meet more friends who love what you love.
Combine socializing with exercise
As part of a team, you feel included, plus you get much-needed human contact (sometimes a lot depending on the sport). A Duke University study says group exercise can help boost your sense of self-accomplishment and belonging. Exercise is sometimes considered as effective as drugs in treating all kinds of mood disorders, because it releases feel-good endorphins and boosts self-esteem. So, don’t miss your spin class – it’s more than just a workout.
When you feel liked, loved and affirmed by your relationships, your mind and body relax. When you feel that way more often, your immune system is actually supported – ergo, you’re healthier. Deep, real relationships, plus quality time in numbers lead to spiritual and physical benefits that can last a lifetime.