Good friends and family do more than make life worth living; These relationships can add years to your life. A new study shows that people with lots of close friends and family around will likely live a lot longer than lonesome people. The protective effect of having lots of healthy and fulfilling relationships is comparable to that of quitting smoking, the study authors state.
“Our social relationships are important not only to our quality of life, but also our longevity,” says study author Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. “Throughout human history, we have relied on others for survival such as protection and food. Despite modern advancements that may help with certain aspects of survival so that we can live more independently, it appears that our relationships nonetheless still impact odds of survival.” The study found that in terms of long life, strong social ties can be as important as losing weight if you are obese and getting active if you are sedentary.
“Foster existing relationships,” she says. “Call a friend, get to know your neighbors, invite a colleague to lunch, or get together with family. Look for opportunities to get to know others or get involved in your community. Support others, because providing support is associated with greater protection for mortality than receiving support.”
One of the pillars of our Balanced Care Method philosophy is to foster social ties. Every day, we see first-hand the importance of having strong relationships as the clients of Home Care Assistance Columbus thrive among friends and family.