I have been reading with interest the latest research on the benefits of socialisation. I have been banging on that socialisation is one of the three most important things that you can do to keep yourself well. Nice to have it reconfirmed.
When I am looking at what does and doesn't work to keep us well for my resilience programmes, I firstly look at myself and see if it would work for me. When I was unwell I noticed that I didn't want to talk to anyone, I wanted to hide myself away. When your brain is unwell it tells you crazy stuff so you should generally do the opposite of what it says.
The next thing I do is look at how I feel when I do what 'they' say that I should do to stay well. Whenever I talk to my friends (yes, I have a couple) I come away feeling relaxed, satisfied, even energised. I am no longer surprised at how we are all the same no matter our race, religion, culture or belief. We feel the same things.
Next I listen to what the experts have to say, in this case it is the psychologists. And all of them say that we need to get out and talk more, to meet new people, to talk with others at every opportunity. And not just talk, to share, to listen, to reflect.
Then I look at what research tells us. Why I leave this aspect until the very last is beyond me. My brain is an idiot. Having recently attended a positive psychology conference I found myself sitting in front of a researcher. I know, not what I was expecting either, I was supposed to go to the session on group dynamics. I was pleased that I didn't.
This man was fascinating despite the statistics which always make my eyes glaze over. He spoke about how he always kept an open mind about psychology and how he focussed solely on the results. And his recent research proved to him that socialisation was one of the most important things that we can do to change our mood.
Finally, I look at what we as humans did in the early years. We can learn a lot from evolution. In the early times there were no phones, emails, television, radio, or any of the distractions of today. We (not actually us, humans) sat around a fire and talked to each other. Or maybe just grunted, who knows. The fact is that socialisation was the only way that we could pass on messages.
There you have it, from Lance to academia to evolution. (You can throw the Lance bit out, what would he know). All agree that socialisation is hugely beneficial for us. Test it for yourself. The next time you are feeling under the weather go and talk with someone then note how you are feeling afterwards. Much better I am sure, provided you spoke with the right person of course.
Let's stick together and talk.