• Michelle Dawn Mooney

Seize the Day: How Social Time Makes Us Happy and Healthy

Updated: Aug 14, 2019

Catching up over a delicious breakfast with fruit-topped Belgian waffle, eggs, home-fries, turkey sausage and grits. #yum

This breakfast was about four years in the making. No, it didn't actually take that long to make. There wasn't a secret ingredient that had been aged to perfection or needed to steep in an oak barrel somewhere. The years long wait was simply a matter of two gals getting their calendars to align. Unfortunately, that seems to be happening more and more often. It's about time I/we did something about it.

Finding time for things we enjoy can be a daily battle. If it's not on today's "must do" list, then it's often discounted as a luxury rather than a necessity. In fact, the opposite can be true. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying to disregard all the important items on your list in exchange for shucking responsibilities and throwing caution to the wind so you can follow every whim. What I am saying follows a proven fact that when we are happier and more connected socially, we tend to do a better job at handling everything else in our lives.

Socializing has been proven to have positive affects on both our physical and mental health. Studies show that face to face socialization, even something as simple as a handshake or a high five, releases neurotransmitters into our bodies that help reduce stress, depression, and anxiety, and can actually make us happier human beings. Not only can social contact strengthen our immune system, but people who have strong supports systems tend to live longer than those who are more isolated.

So, the next time you have the opportunity to take a phone call from an old friend; grab a cup of coffee with your neighbor; or maybe stop by for an impromptu visit with a family member - don't think twice - just do it. What are you waiting for?

Life is too short. Like the old saying goes, there are no guarantees in this life except death and taxes, although, I would beg to differ. I can pretty much guarantee that the next time you meet up with that friend or loved one, you'll probably end up with a smile on your face. The to-do list will still be there when you're done, and the mood boost you'll get from that social time will make it a little easier to get through it. Who knows, you may even have some delicious leftovers to take home for a mid-work snack (she types as she grabs a forkful of reheated hashbrowns). ;) Happy socializing! #seizetheday

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