Because our social relationships are vital for our health, it's important to consider how to improve them. Just as we might plan healthy meals or exercise, we should plan to spend quality time with friends and family.
We can catch up with friends remotely, a phone call being better than texting. We should also consider how to incorporate kindness into our routine. An act of kindness could be bringing someone chocolates, opening doors for others, or picking up trash.
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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.
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.
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.
Close relationships (with spouses, family, friends, community members) are the biggest factor keeping people happy throughout their lives, researchers discovered. People with stron...
Find ways to perform small, random acts of kindness during your day. These acts can be incredibly simple, from complimenting a stranger at the grocery store on his or her shirt to making your spouse coffee before work to engaging a co-worker you don't usually talk with in a friendly Zoom chat.
Deliberately performing random acts of kindness can make you feel happier and those acts you do for others has a longer-term effect on your own happiness.
This works because these acts tap into your natural prosocial behavior, or the basic human impulse to help others, Simon-Thomas says. When you invest your own resources in the welfare of others, it activates your brain's reward system -- you feel good that you made the other person feel good.
Writing down three things you're grateful for at the end of each day, and why they happened, leads to long term increases in happiness and decreases in depressive symptoms, according to a 2005 study from Martin Seligman, director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
It doesn't matter how large or small each thing is -- just write them down, in a notebook or your Notes app or wherever.
The point is to train your mind to orient itself to the parts of your life that are good, instead of directing your attention to things that are stressful or irritating.
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