Has it been a long time since you’ve seen your mom? Well, it might be time to pick up the phone and arrange some quality time together, as a study has said that your mother will live longer, the less lonely she is.
We all know how much it affects our mood when we’re lonely, and the effect isolation has on our physical state, as well as our mental state, has now been backed by science.
A study, conducted back in 2012, watched over 1,600 adults with an average age of 71, and compared their social interactions with their ongoing life span. The researchers found that 23% of the participants who reported loneliness died within six years. Meanwhile, only 14% of those with companionship died during the same time period.
The researchers came to the conclusion that “loneliness is a significant factor in the decline of quality of life in older adults.” The risks of depression, cognitive impairment and other health problems, such as coronary heart disease, are all factors that may lead to an earlier death.
Associate professor of psychology at Brigham Young University in Utah said that…
Our social relationships are important not only to our quality of life, but also our longevity. Throughout human history, we have relied on others for survival such as protection and food, and 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.
A study published in 2010 said that “social ties can be as important to extending life as losing weight if you are obese and getting active if you are sedentary.” So basically, loneliness and isolation are terrible for our health. Some researchers have even said that loneliness is a bigger health risk than smoking or obesity.
Feeling the need to go visit your loved ones immediately? Well, that may not be a bad idea actually!
When you’re with your friends and loved ones you tend to laugh, and laughter really is the best medicine. Laughter can be a powerful antidote to declining health. Studies have shown that laughter can boost immunity, stimulate mental activity and lower blood pressure. So not only will a visit benefit your ageing family members, but it will improve your health too.
It goes without saying how beneficial it can be to spend time with your parents. But it is also beneficial for them too. Research has shown that grandparents who babysit have less chance of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia. So give yourself a break and drop the kids round at grandma and grandpa’s house for an hour or two – you’ll all benefit!
As we grow older it can be easy to get caught up in our own lives and forget to make time for those who truly matter. But the truth is that not everyone will be around forever, so make the most of the time you have. You may even extend the time you get just by popping in once a week for a cup of coffee and a good joke.
Do you you believe that the amount of social interaction you get can affect your lifespan? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and share the message with your friends and parents. Let them know you’re thinking about them.