Socializing can provide a number of benefits to your physical and mental health. Did you know that connecting with friends may also boost your brain health and lower your risk of dementia? If you need reasons to help justify spending extra time lingering over coffee with a friend, or setting aside time in your busy schedule to connect with family, read on.
Research shows these main benefits of having an active social life:
Convinced of the benefits of socializing? If so, you may be looking for ways to boost your social engagement. Here are some ideas to get you started.
You may notice that many of these activities also provide cognitive engagement or physical exercise – or even both. In previous postings, we shared research about the additional benefits to brain health that come along with cognitive and physical activities. So, it’s a great idea to choose social activities that also physically and cognitively engaging.
If you have MCI, you may find that changes in your memory make it more difficult to learn new activities, names, and routines. These can also make it more difficult for you to comfortably interact with others. If so, it may help to connect with people through activities that are familiar to you. It may also be easier to focus on the here and now, by chatting about the things that you are doing together, rather than the past.
Regardless of how you go about connecting with others, remember that it should be in a way that is enjoyable to you, so that you will be sure to do it often.