In general, people who are socially connected are happier and tend to live longer lives. One of the longest behavioral studies to date focuses on human happiness and how interpersonal relationships can elongate a person’s lifespan due strictly to the strength of their relationships. Harvard University recently completed a 75 year study on human happiness and would you believe, that after 75 years, the study participants all reported the key to their happiness has been strong, supportive friendships and relationships. People who have experienced securely attached relationships, where they can trust the people in their lives to be supportive, actually have sharper social memories, longer lifespans, and less physical pain.
Alternatively, loneliness can be toxic. This same study found that people lived shorter lives who reported loneliness during their lifetime. Reportedly, 1 in 5 American report being lonely within their lifetime, often regardless of their romantic relationship status. When a person is feeling lonely within their relationship, it is even more important to have the support of friends to lean on to gain human connection and the positive effects of attachment. Good relationships protect us from the negative effects of aging. As we grow older it can become more difficult to meet new people and form strong bonds. At Grand Rapids Natural Health, we encourage women to band together and meet with us monthly at our Women’s Wellness support group. Armed with a different topic every group, we can connect with like minded individuals who may just be looking for a little support, a fun evening, and some good friends.