It is a commonly known fact that physical activity can benefit your body. After all, exercise raises your heart rate while also enhancing your balance, strength, and mobility. But did you realize that staying socially connected is equally as vital to your overall health, especially when you are retired? In fact, social connectivity is one of the eight categories of wellness. Read on to know why it is so important to stay socially connected when you are retired.
Have you ever felt happier after talking to your friends or loved ones? That is because maintaining such friendships makes you feel more socially connected, and thus, happier. In fact, one study found that participants who have more in-depth and meaningful talks were found to be happier. In particular, the study’s “happiest” participant had twice as many meaningful discussions every day. But did you know that being socially connected can benefit you beyond just making you feel happy? According to a 2004 research, stronger social support is associated with decreased anxiety and sadness, more empathy, and greater self-esteem among participants. In fact, social connectivity was found to be a positive feedback cycle because it also increases the likelihood that others will trust you and desire to connect with you. Several other studies also found that social connections can result in less stress and a decreased chance of depression. Essentially, staying socially connected can improve your mental health in many aspects.
Another reason why you should stay socially connected when you are retired? It can benefit your physical health. According to a meta-analytic study of 148 research, it found those who had stronger relationships had higher mortality, and in fact, had a 50% higher chance of surviving. Several other studies also found that socialization can help to decrease blood pressure, strengthen your immune system, and relieve physical discomfort. If those are not beneficial enough, perhaps the benefit of lower risk of obesity or heart attack, and a quicker rate of recovery from a trauma or injury can convince you.
Sense of Belonging
Did you know that staying socially connected when you are retired can also give you a sense of belonging? According to research, talking to people, regardless if they are your friends, loved ones, or strangers, can provide you with a stronger sense of belonging to a community, and a generally positive experience. In fact, regular conservations will also make you feel socially active and important in your community. For many, such social connections can not only improve a sense of belonging but also provide a sense of purpose.
Healthier Eating Habits
Another reason why it is so important to stay connected during your retirement? It can improve your sleeping and eating habits. And given that those in their golden years are more susceptible to malnutrition, this is especially important. Studies show that mature adults who ate with others were more likely to consume more food and make healthier selections.