A Strong Social Network Necessary For Happiness, Research Finds

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Further studies indicate that it could be because physical wellbeing is strongly connected to emotional wellbeing.

A series of studies conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found significant relationship between the health of people’s social lives and their likelihood of developing various health problems.

One study found that adults aged 57 to 91 years of age had an incredible 142 percent greater chance of developing hypertension (high blood pressure) if they reported feeling “socially isolated.” This also correlated with a 49 percent higher chance of having diabetes.

The researchers analyzed data from four large prior studies to see what the general trends and correlations were with regard to social connections and health. Each study ranged from 863 people to nearly 8,000 participants, so there was a very large pool of data to draw conclusions from.

The findings were clear: The degree to which a person feels socially connected or isolated can and does have a significant effect on everything from body mass index, levels of C-reactive proteins (a key marker in monitoring inflammation in the body, which is linked to a multitude of diseases), cardiovascular health and more.

Social connections can affect the health of the brain, as well. Numerous studies have shown that having a strong social network (in addition to exercise and diet) can go a long way toward reducing someone’s chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other neurodegenerative conditions. If you build a happy social life, you’ll be able to enjoy your life.

Take some time to evaluate how healthy your relationships are. How close are you to your family? How many people do you have in your life that you consider real friends? When was the last time you made friendly small talk with a neighbor?


READ ALSO: Can Exercise Make You Happy? Infographic


This stuff matters. We’re not meant to live isolated lives. Reach out and connect with people–it will pay off in far more ways than you can anticipate.



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