Socialising and companionship are interactions we largely take for granted. Whether it be at work, at home, family events, catch up with friends, mingling with community groups and sporting teams – there seems to be an endless supply of social opportunities. However, it’s not always easy to make the most of these opportunities, especially if disability, illness or ageing prevents you from travelling far from home or creates difficulties in communicating with those around you. But did you know there are many health and wellness aspects of interacting with your local community? Here are six benefits of socialising and companionship:
1. Enhanced Mental Health
The most obvious benefit is the clear mental health advantages. Humans are social creatures, and countless studies confirm that communicating our thoughts, feelings and opinions with those around us increases our general sense of happiness as well as reducing stress and anxiety levels. It’s no wonder solitary confinement is deemed an extreme form of punishment!
2. Helps Mental Health of Those Around You
Equally, and not surprisingly, companionship is not only beneficial to you but also has a flow on effect to the people you share it with. Socialising can result in building lifelong friendships and deeper relationships. It helps us to trust and connect with each other, and lowers feelings of depression.
3. Boosted Self-Esteem
Socialising can be a great tool to build your confidence, improve your mood and can help reduce any deep-rooted fears of social awkwardness or judgement. We understand ourselves better and develop our identity further by communicating in our own individual way. Maybe you are known for your sense of humour, or your kind supportive nature, or your wise advice. Whatever it is, you craft this and discover this about yourself via connecting with people.
4. Contributing to the Community, Sense of Belonging
Understanding common goals and interests, and working together to achieve it or enjoy a shared experience gives the whole community a sense of satisfaction and belonging. What use is art, film, music and sport if we can’t talk about it? When we converse with others this can also reveal solutions to shared problems.
5. Better Physical Health
Did you know that companionship helps you physically as well as mentally? Research shows that those with more social support tend to live longer than those who are socially isolated. What’s more, recent research has accumulated evidence on the health of the brain to show that you may even lower your risk of dementia through socialising.
6. Opens our Understanding of Others
When you are out amongst the community, speaking and interacting with others, it can expand your understanding of various people from other backgrounds, cultures and perspectives that are different to your own. You’ll learn more about people and the world we live in, and develop mutual respect. The world is a happier place when we understand and respect each other.
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