The Most Overlooked Way to Prolong your Life

In a world full of data on the subject of longevity one vital piece of the equation has been largely overlooked. It appears that cultivating good relationships plays a very valuable part in improving the length and quality of our lives.

Many of us understand on an intrinsic level that our closest relationships are arguably the most valuable thing in our lives, but science has now revealed startling correlations between our relationships and our long-term health.

Brigham Young University professors Julianne Holt-Lunstad and Timothy Smith found that social connections including friends, family, neighbors or colleagues, have a significant impact on our health, and this particular study didn’t even take into account the perceived “quality” of the relationships. The study focused on drawing parallels between how social interaction compares to several well-known risk factors effect on longevity.

Their findings were that low social interaction is:

  • Equivalent risk to being an alcoholic

  • More harmful than not exercising

  • Twice as harmful as obesity

  • Equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day

Science has revealed that relationships also contribute to health and perceived quality of life but as well as longevity.

Researchers from Flinder's University found that people with the highest number of close friends outlived those with the least friends by 22 per cent – on average, living to the age of 79, compared to 65, that's fourteen years more!

So when factoring in time to exercise, eat well and devoting time to your life purpose, don't overlook your family and social networks, including neighbours, long-lost friends, community or co-workers.

A few suggestions to improve your relationships:

  • Call your parents

  • Make an effort to speak with friends every day

  • Make an effort to be tolerant and accepting

  • Pay someone you know or love an honest compliment

  • Write a "love note"

  • Avoid arguments by saying "i feel...(emotion)" instead of "YOU ALWAYS..."

  • Plan a date night or get-together

  • Work on anyone you need to forgive, research Ho'oponopono

  • Reconnect with a long-lost friend

  • Plan a social event

  • Do a favour

  • Ask for a favour (studies show that people actually like a person more after they do a favour for them!)

  • Join a club

  • Plan a family or group holiday

  • Engage in a hobby a loved one enjoys

  • Confide in a friend

I hope you and your loved ones enjoy these tips!

x Erin Ricketts

Psst... Join The Wild Belles Women's Circle. Connect and restore those missing connections in your life.

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“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return.” Eden Ahbez- Nature Boy