This piece was written by Sue Loncaric and you can visit her at her blog, Sizzling Towards Sixty And Beyond.

Socializing is so much more than just catching up with friends. It actually provides many health benefits and can help you to live longer.

Feeling in a rut or not wanting to go out is unhealthy and we have all been there.  It is easy to fall into the ‘can’t be bothered’ syndrome, especially if we are feeling tired or life is too busy. Sometimes you need to actually make the effort to get dressed and get out of the house.

Socializing and enjoying the company of friends and family is a simple but sure way of helping you feel rejuvenated.

My husband and I regularly catch up for lunch with another couple and although sometimes we aren’t really in the mood, we feel alive again after enjoying a meal with great company and have a few laughs.

I also have a weekly catch-up with my Saturday Sisters.  We run together every Saturday morning and use that time to not only exercise but to chat, laugh, cry, vent or whatever we need to do.  We are there for each other and it is surprising how that one hour per week can lift my spirits.

Socializing stimulates our minds and keeps our brains active.   

We learn from others, we share experiences and develop friendships.  We can share common interests or have discussions with others who have different opinions or ideas. Being social also takes away the emphasis on YOU and your worries or problems.

As we age, we can become lonely if we lose a spouse or we divorce.  We may have retired and lost daily contact with others. We sometimes need to start again with building friendships and it can be daunting.

 

Why You Should Force Yourself To Socialize More As You Age
The 5 Benefits of Socializing

 

  1. Reduces stress and anxiety
  2. Delays memory problems as we age – Research from Harvard University showed that in people aged in their 50’s and 60’s who had active social lives and activity experienced slower memory decline was slower than those who rarely socialized.
  3. Reduces risk of cardiovascular disease – Results of a study published in the Heart Journal showed that loneliness and social isolation are risk factors for coronary heart disease and stroke.
  4. Increased positive attitude due to feeling needed and connected.
  5. Decreased negative influences as a result of laughter.

 

There are many ways to be social. It doesn’t just mean catching up over a coffee.

Here are a few suggestions to help you get out there and meeting up with old friends or finding new ones.

  • Join a book club
  • Attend family events
  • Visit a museum or art gallery
  • Go to the theatre
  • See a movie and then discuss over lunch or dinner
  • Volunteer
  • Find a hobby and join a community
  • Get a membership and join some exercise classes
  • Join Church groups
  • Take an art or dance class

 

Do you have any more suggestions or ideas? What is your favourite way to spend time with family and friends?

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