bp's science: social interaction = health (v.1)

I was recently watching a PBS show that was discussing how our health is effected not only by the food we eat or the exercise we do, but also by the area in which we live, the socioeconomic status of where we are located, and the strength of our social relationships.

I am always very interested when I read articles or watch programs where the topic is how our social relationships effect our lives. It is very clear that having healthy family relationships gives a person a leg up on health. The in-house support group that a good family provides does wonders for the heart (to say the least). But what's more is that the relationships one has in his/her community are just as important. Good family relationships will not do it alone. I was surprised by this finding, but it does make sense. Feeling a sense of community is powerful. It gives a sense of purpose, of belonging. It decreases a person's stress in everyday interactions, e.g., I know my kid's friend's parents so I'm not so worried when they go to a party OR I know the person who works at the bank so I can trust them. It's a bigger support group. The show stated an alarming statistic: Over 50 percent of all individuals felt like they had no one to talk to about serious concerns. How's that for carrying around all your pent up stress inside. Geez!

I can see that I made (and do make) decisions on certain things because of my social interactions. For instance, I worked at a really crappy job during a summer break from college because I liked the people I worked with. I stayed in an okay, run-of-the-mill, cinder block apartment during college for longer than I thought because I liked the people. Out here, when families are ready to move into bigger living spaces, they always want to "stay in the neighborhood" because they like the people or vice versa. Strong community relationships are key.

Can you see it in your life? I'd like to hear what you think as this is such a cool topic to me.


ash said...

It's sad that I asked for comments and somehow marked the "don't allow comments" choice before posting. Anyhow, fixed it.

Chap said...

I'm with you about social interaction and we love socially interacting with you and your cute family, too!