We all want to live long. Be it for the family we have or the strong friendship, or just for loving ourselves a little more, we all want to push death away for years. To do the same, we feel the need to reboot our lifestyle and our health through various ways – be it changing our lifestyle, or getting into a healthier diet, or subscribing to a workout routine. However, we need to do something more to add more years to life, and that is to strengthen human connections. The latest science says that the secret to a long-tern happy life is through the social connections we make, and the relationships that we value.
Experts say that by exercising social fitness, we can kill the risk of chronic stress – thereby making life easier and happier. Robert Waldinger, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School was quoted saying that not subscribing to social fitness can be harmful for the health.
However, it is more difficult than said. Exercising social connections and making relationships stronger can be challenging, especially for people who have neglected relationships. But what is social fitness? Let’s have a look.
In 2011, social neuroscientists John and Stephanie Cacioppo shared the result from their 10-hour social fitness training program with the US military. The training program showed that practising social connections like resolving a conflict or doing a favour to someone reduced the sense of loneliness drastically, thereby eliminating chances of stress, and boosting well-being. Science and philosophy have always connected well-being to social connections, and the result reiterated the importance of the same.
In the world, a lot of us suffer from the loneliness epidemic. While some may live with the misconception that to have connections, we need to ne extroverts, that is not true. Humans are wired to be social beings, needing the presence of others around them. Hence, it is not the quantity of people who we surround ourselves with, but the quality of the relationships and how much they make us feel better.