|Social Interaction is important to build up one's personality / Photo Credit via Pixabay|
When people are younger, they find it easier to socialize with other people since they are more careless and they are still unaware of the differences among each other. However, as people get older, people are becoming more vulnerable in the feeling of loneliness and social isolation and they seek to socialize, staying active, and maintaining hobbies in order for them to be happy and have a fulfilled lifestyle. According to a web post by Sweet Tree UK, 2 million people who live in England over the age of 75 live alone, with more than a million older people reporting that they can sometimes go for up a month without speaking to a friend, family member or neighbor. Social isolation can happen for different reasons, such as the death of the close family relative, retirement, or having a disability or illness which could make it harder for them to leave the house and mingle with other people.
|Two middle aged women happier together / Photo Credit via Pixabay|
Moreover, A Healthier Michigan shared a transcript from a podcast which explains why social interaction is important. “Strong social connections make people happier if they’re in a positive light. If you had a strong social connection to an extremely negative person, there are some approaches out there that say maybe you might want to cut that person off because their behaviors are going to affect you. You will become more negative if you hang around that negative person a lot.” says Cindy Bjorkquist, Director of Health and Wellness Programs at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. She also clarified that cutting negative people off doesn’t mean that people should stop talking to them, but they should change the conversation into something positive which could prevent having a negative conversation with them.
Social interaction and psychological health
Science Daily explained that social psychology is the scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. The reference to imagined or implied others suggests that we are prone to social influence even when no other people are present, such as when watching television or following internalized cultural norms. Likewise, Very Well Mind posted on their website that social support is also important for the well-being of a person. Experts say that when people encounter a crisis in their lives, they often seek for support from their friends and family and researches have supported and demonstrated that there is a connection between social interaction and different aspects of health and wellness.
Likewise, social support could give help to people in fighting the risk of depression and loneliness which could decrease the growing and an alarming number of suicides, alcohol uses, cardiovascular disease, and altered brain function. A study showed that people who have strong social and emotional support are less likely to die early than those who lacked having a strong social support. There are also volunteer groups that are available for people who are looking for someone to fulfill their loneliness by talking with them and giving encouragement.
Research also shows that interacting with other people could train the brain. Medical News Today also explained that social motivation and social contact could help in improving memory function, recall, and protect the brain from neurodegenerative diseases. Professor Matthew Lieberman from the University of California, Los Angeles noted that “when you’re socially motivated to learn, the social brain can do the learning and it can do it better than the analytical network that you typically activate when you try to memorize.”
A meaningful social interaction could also help a person in improving and making their life more satisfying. Researches also show that senior citizens who had a socially active life and prioritized social goals have higher late-life satisfaction. It shows that there is a higher number of aged citizens who live to ripe old age, while maintaining good health and cognitive function, have noted that while other elements related to diet and lifestyle varied widely, they all appeared to be dedicated to being socially active.
|Social interaction / Photo Credit via ARPC|
Maintaining good social interaction
Socializing can provide a number of benefits to the person’s physical and mental health. Connecting with friends could also boost the brain’s health and lower the risk of dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. However, there are people who are having a hard time stepping out of their comfort zone and talking with other people. The reason behind their fear could be their mental health, or they had a traumatizing experience in the past that hinders them to talk with other people.
People who suffer from social anxiety could learn a thing or two in starting to interact with other people. First, they should think about what kind of impression that they want to make with the person they want to interact with. According to Nerd Fitness, having this exercise of thinking about what impression that you want to impose is useful because it could help them focus on the matter at hand. Also, it is advisable to say something nice to other people while making an adequate amount of eye contact with them.