The true object of all human life is – PLAY

Nov 26, 2018 | Relationships, Social Life

Did you know ?

It takes 50 hours of socializing to go from being an acquaintance to a casual friend, an additional 40 hours to become a ‘real’ friend, and a total of 200 hours to become a close friend.

When I read this data point in an article a few weeks ago, all it brought to the fore was how moving to a new country had brought me to the steps of the sanatorium of modern day adult friendships and social connections.

Even if I knew people in my new country, have ex-colleagues, college mates and acquaintances, it’s become increasingly difficult to make social plans and execute them. Moving to a new country is always hard but what makes it bearable is the connections you make or the social support you gather. Despite making all possible efforts over the years it’s glaringly clear that we do miss our life and friends back home. But the magnitude of the loss wasn’t as evident till last month when we had some amazing opportunities to catch up with old school friends, ex-college mates some colleagues & family over festivals and celebrations.

It worked like medicine and healed us from a plethora of physical and mental ailments. I saw marked improvement from my rosacea (a gift from the new country). My family saw various improvements from hair fall to allergies to stress and sleep.

Now what does social connections have to do with physical and mental well-being?

I would say plenty!

There are a lot of research and studies that show social connection is one of the top contributors for longevity. Some more benefits of improved social connections are:

  • Lower risk of dementia
  • Better mood
  • Better sleep
  • Less allergies
  • Better immunity
  • Lesser risk of depression/anxiety

Does this mean having a thousand Facebook friends make you healthy? Or having hundreds of casual acquaintances improve your stress or sleep?

Honestly, no, but then it also depends on whether you are a low engagement person or a believer of deep meaningful relationships.

Also, will endless drinking and eating binges with buddies over the weekend make you healthy? Again, no!

It’s not about a single note; it’s about the symphony. It’s about the ‘ikigai’ of life in the blue zones like Sardinia in Italy, Icaria in Greece, Okinawa in Japan that truly makes the impact, which is a combination of eating wisely, a lot of natural movement, having the right tribe to socialize and having the ideal outlook towards life.

Longing for closeness and connection is pervasive yet we are not able to create it with our fellow earthlings. Though sad but all is not lost since identifying the issue is partly solving it.

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