Physical health is more than exercise - Deepstash

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How Your Social Life Might Help You Live Longer

Physical health is more than exercise

Physical health is more than exercise

When we want to maximize our physical health, we should not only focus on a balanced diet and exercise but also on our social relationships.

Studies, again and again, point to our relationships as a major factor in health. One meta-study found that people with healthy and supportive relationships live longer.

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Loneliness Is A Kind Of Pain
  • Loneliness affects 19 to 43 per cent of adults who are now past 60 years of age.
  • Just as physical pain is a warning from the body telling us to take appropriate action, our feeling of being lonely and disconnected is a social pain, a signal that we need to take care of ourselves by the means of companionship.
  • Loneliness, if prolonged, is also associated with heart disease, strokes and other lifestyle diseases.
Loneliness And Mental Health

Studies show that older adults who are lonely see a decline in their thinking abilities, which is rapid if paired with other factors like physical inactivity, anxiety, poor sleep and high blood pressure.

Prolonged social isolation is a kind of mental stress leading to various mental and physical health issues like faster ageing, dementia and cognitive decline. It has also been linked to the factors that lead to Alzheimer’s disease, like a build-up of certain toxic proteins in the brain.

Social Activities As A Form Of Self-Care
  • The negative impact of prolonged loneliness can be curbed with maintaining high-quality relationships and social activity.
  • How we manage our feelings and relationships is important for our brain’s health.
  • Self-care is an essential component of our mental and physical health, and we have to focus our attention towards better sleep and exercise routines, healthy eating and engaging in enjoyable activities.
Positive Thinking
  • Recall positive life events.
  • Help others and remind yourself that you can impact the world and feel happier.
  • Practice mindfulness that makes you more present and increases happiness and resilience.
  • Express gratitude by telling people or writing about what you feel thankful for.
  • Identify and remind yourself of your strengths to feel capable and confident. Reflect on the qualities that helped you succeed in the past.
  • Practice forgiveness by letting go of past hurt and anger, but still protect yourself.
  • Find and keep deep real-world social connections to avoid the scientifically proven toll of loneliness and increase well-being.
Creating Purpose

Living a life with meaning and purpose is key to improving your psychological well-being. Your purpose doesn’t necessarily have to involve changing the world or devoting yourself to helping others.

If you lack a purpose, think about the legacy you’d like to leave behind and establish some objectives that can help you reach those goals. 

Psychological Well-Being

it is the combination of feeling good and functioning effectively. People with high psychological well-being report feeling capable, well-supported, and satisfied with life, besides living longer and healthier lives.

Researchers found that the absence of distress doesn’t necessarily correlate with high psychological well-being, but it does with having one’s basic needs met.