The answer might well be yes. Many studies show that a good social network is associated with a lower risk of psychological disorders (like depression), physical illness and even death. Lisa and Leonard Syme Berkam, epidemiologists, respectively, Yale and the University of California, studied the health and social bonds of 6,928 people, considering marriage, contacts with family, friends and the number of membership organizations. Those with a social network limited to a few intimate contacts had, over 9 years, a mortality rate almost two times higher that those with an extended network.
How do you explain the results?
First, other people give emotional support, enhancing self-esteem and psychological well-being. In addition they provide advice, help and information to address difficulties and problems. Finally, friends and family help to monitor important health behaviors, such as adhere to medical prescriptions or eating properly. According to some research, social support affects health because it protects the negative impact of stress: to rely on others to help cope with stressful events and help them to live more lightly.
Could this be a recipe for longevity?
The new answer for longevity is to have have many friends. That is also what state many articles in the medicine journals. A study ofof over three hundred thousand cases, has shown that social relations prolongs lives of about seven and a half years respect to those who do not cultivate relationships. The absence of friends can be compared to other well known risk factors, such as obesity and smoking. Not having friends can be compared to smoking fifteen cigarettes a day. Studies on social interaction has been a significant field of study in the last forty years but has made great progres with the health and physiological mechanisms related to it. This study is a small step forward that goes beyond the simple understanding that, for example, a parent because of his/her children…