Social Life Health Benefits

Recently I’ve been reading a lot of articles on how to improve my health without relying on medications. Maybe it’s part of growing old. The following ideas were found on Better Health Channel.

Health benefits of strong relationships: The number and strength of our relationships affect our mental and physical wellbeing. The benefits of social connections on good mental health are numerous, including lower rates of anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem, greater empathy, and more trusting and cooperative relationships. Strong, healthy relationships can also help to strengthen our immune system, and may even lengthen our life. The good news is that while many of these benefits can make us happier and more contented, there’s also a flow-on effect, whereby people around us will want to spend time with us. In this way, social connectedness generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical wellbeing.

Impact of loneliness on health: Loneliness can have dramatic consequences for our health. Loneliness can lead to disrupted sleep patterns, elevated blood pressure, and increased cortisol (a stress hormone). It can affect our immune system and decrease our overall sense of contentment. Loneliness is also a risk factor for antisocial behavior, depression and suicide.

Older people are particularly vulnerable. If your mobility decreases, it can be harder to get together with other people. However, older people who remain connected with others and have strong relationships are likely to: have a better quality of life, be more satisfied with their life, have a lower risk of dementia and mental decline, need less domestic support.

Younger people (teenagers and people in their 20s) are also at risk when they are isolated. A lack of social relationships can have a direct impact on a young person’s physical wellbeing by increasing the risk of obesity, inflammation and high blood pressure.

Feeling lonely is hard to cope with. Even if you live a healthy life, you still need to be socially active to stay well and happy. It’s important to recognize that loneliness is different from solitude. Feeling lonely is a problem, but being alone may not be a problem at all. Many people live alone and have happy, fulfilling lives.

One way to strengthen your social connections is to reach out to the people you already know, such as co-workers, family, school friends or neighbors. Give someone a call, or write or email them and let them know you would like to be in touch more often.

Spending Time With Friends Is One of the Best Things You Can Do for Your Health. Remember that having friends and social connections is good for your health and wellbeing; being lonely or isolated can affect your mental, emotional and physical health.

NO VACATION PLANS (Love Plans Series, book 9)

Denise Lambert fell in love at first sight with Damien Booker, a biracial law student. They danced the night away, and she welcomed his passionate kiss. But then he disappeared.
Five years later, she can’t believe her eyes when the pizza delivery boy sporting a long frizzy mane and a bushy beard is none other than Damien. He kisses her and runs away. She manages to d reconnect with him. For weeks, they chat on the phone, until she bumps into Zorro, the exotic male dancer, at her friend’s bachelorette party—Damien again who kisses her senseless. But Denise is fed up with the jack of all trades. She’ll have to break it off with him unless…
Determined to be worthy of her love, Damian set aside his resentment against discriminating lawyers. Clean cut and well-groomed, he applies to various firms, until he finally lands the right position in the right firm. Will his effort pay off? Or will he have to fight her friends and relatives to bring Denise into his arms?
No Vacation Plans is part of Love Plans Series.

It’s Okay Not To Be Okay

I should be stronger.

I should be smarter.

I should be slimmer.

I should be healthier.

I should be better.

I should do more.

How many times have you asked yourselves these questions? How many times have you forced out a smile and said, “I’m alright” when someone asked how you are? I bet that the answer is “All the time.” You probably feel that you can’t speak up when you have a bad day, or a bad year, that people will think you’re complaining, that your friends and family have their own issues and you don’t want to burden them with yours.

I know. I’ve been there. Hell, I live there! And you know what? I’ve come to realize that it’s okay to not be okay. That sometimes “How are you?” is an honest inquiry about your well-being, and someone actually cares about the answer.

I rarely open up about my life. I feel that if people know about my problems that’s a sign of weakness and vulnerability. And yes, there have been times when I regretted my candor. But there have been many more times when talking to a loved one or even to a stranger saved my sanity—or at least, it put a band-aid on it.

I’m having the hardest year of my life. In November 2021 my father was diagnosed with lung cancer. It’s a cliché, but I never thought something like that could happen to him. He used to say this kind of illness would never get close to him, but it did. All the doctors I talked to said he probably had a few months left to live. I didn’t tell my father that, and I didn’t believe it. He was the strongest man I knew, I was sure he was going to beat this illness. Although the odds were grim, I kept hoping and fighting with every weapon I had. How weak each of them were…

What followed were six months of an emotional rollercoaster. He did so well when he first started chemotherapy that I began believing he would be okay. I did my best to take care of him, spend time with him, pushed myself to limits I didn’t know I had. But fate tricked us. Each step we took, even before his diagnosis, was always a step behind the illness. The healthcare system moved too slowly, the tests took too long, the doctors didn’t monitor him properly. So in the final month I watched my father go through a terrible agony, before he passed away in May this year. It was like watching Zeus fall.

wellbeing

If hell exists, it cannot possibly be worse than dying like that, or than watching someone you love die. It’s something that changes you forever. There is no going back to the person you were before after watching a loved one die under your helpless eyes.

Needless to say, this was the biggest trauma in my life, and the pain is far from being over. It took a toll on everything, including my writing career. I was already having trouble with writer’s block, and my dad’s diagnosis completely killed my creativity. I only wrote a few pages here and there since November 2021. And all this time, day after day, I have been beating myself up for not being able to write. I’m still beating myself up for feeling down, for being depressed, for being tired, for not meeting my own (unrealistic) expectations, and so much more.

I deleted this article many times before I decided to publish it. I have no idea who will read it, and bearing your soul in front of strangers is damn hard and uncomfortable. But you know what? I think it’s brave too. And sometimes it can bring you relief and peace such as you never knew. Because we are all humans, we all suffer, and we should comfort each other. There is too much hate and pain around us, and the world seems a pretty bad place right now.

So give yourself a break when you feel overwhelmed. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Talk to people. Cultivate friendships. Help others. Because a better world starts with you and me. And so does a happier life.

If you’ve come this far, I would like to thank you for reading and to ask How are you? Tell me in the comments, and who knows? You might find a new friend today.

Until next time, sending you love and strength.

Melinda

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A Concerned Author by Mona Risk

Do you think I will talk about politics? WRONG

About economy? WRONG

Writing, formatting, publishing, marketing? Wrong, wrong, wrong.

What concerns me is that I spend eight hours a day, sitting in my chair,
albeit a comfortable one, typing on my computer those delightful stories my
readers love.

Dear Readers, I love you so much. For you, I sacrifice my time and my
health. Seriously, as comfortable as my chair is, at the end of the day my back is killing me, although I always extend my feet on a stool under my desk.

Other than the backache, writing has generated a few nasty problems. I don’t know how and why, I woke up one day with big pouches of fat on my belly and hips. I swear I didn’t have them fifteen years ago before I started to write.

Problem number three is my most valuable asset: my eyes. I will spare you a detailed description of the eye problems I developed while sitting at my desk. Years ago people used to stare with a smile of appreciation, “Oh how nice, you have differently colored eyes, a green and a hazel.” Now all I hear is, “Do you wear glasses constantly? Do you see black spots or floaters? Did you have the cataract removed.”–No I didn’t!

Do I need to mention the thirty pounds I added since I started writing? I
have no idea how they perfidiously wormed their way onto my once slim silhouette.

But at least I produced over thirty books and contributed to
dozens of anthologies with new books.

UNFORGETTABLE CHARMERS

NOT READY YET is a a brand new book, not published individually, a delightful romance that will warm your heart and help you believe in the power of love.

High school sweethearts separated by life… They meet years later, successful but different, each with a heavy baggage. 

SWEET and SASSY BABY LOVE

Sweet and Sassy Baby Love – Babies and toddlers bring great joy, love, humor, and even conflict into our lives. But first, we need a passionate encounter, a romance that transcends time.

Christmas Babies is my contribution to Sweet and Sassy Baby Love: ER and Grey’s Anatomy in the NICU.

Dedicated to her patients, the serious Dr. Madelyn Ramsay never had time for fun. An unexpected health problem makes her realize that there’s more to life than just work. She longs to surrender to the magic of love. But can she handle the charming and secretive Dr. Nick Preston who carries his own package of disillusions? Can she allow two newborn twins to worm their way into her heart?

If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands!

Happy People

If you’re over 50—or if you’re currently enrolled in kindergarten—you’ll  know the title is from a song. Although whether we’re really happy or not may not be a simple thing to know, we all clap our hands anyway.

But how do we know if we’re happy, technically speaking? Well that’s a matter for experts to examine, including Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and bestselling author on the subject of living long, healthy & happy. I’ve read Buettner’s articles and many others about happiness—took a whole college course in psychology focusing on what makes happiness tick—and I’ve come up with my personal best list.

Top 7 ways you know if you’re happy:

  1. You laugh a lot. Like every day. Multiple times a day. Sounds simple, right? But really think about this one before you answer it for yourself. How often do you laugh? (Also, how often do you cry?)
  2. You like going to work every day. Especially if you’re like me and you don’t have to go anywhere! It’s no surprise that a long commute can be a big negative in people’s lives according to Buettner. It’s also no surprise that liking your job can make you happy.

    But did you know that you don’t even have to like your job to be happy  if you like the people you work with? 

    In fact, according to Buetner and others, liking your fellow employees and having friends at work is more important than making more money. I can personally attest to the truth of this!

  3. You have a great social network and get together with friends/family often. Everyone agrees about how important the people in your life are to your happiness, right? Maybe it’s hard to put this into practice in  every day life, but those who do are happiest.
  4. You are healthy. While it’s not something we think about, according to statistics, it is harder to be happy when you’re unhealthy. So don’t take this one for granted.
  5. You make a decent living. No need for riches. But just in case, I did buy a Powerball ticket when the jackpot went to $625 million yesterday. It would be a kick to play Santa Claus with all that money. Which brings me to the next tell for happiness.
  6. You focus on others with acts of kindness, helpfulness, care, donating and/or volunteering. Or maybe you’re there for someone with a shoulder to cry on in a tragedy. Of course, you probably already know how these things can make you feel all warm and fuzzy.
  7. Life Balance. You have the right amount of work, socializing and sleep—and all those other personal care things to keep you healthy, like staying active. This is no news for anyone who spends too much time at work, or too much time sitting around. Or not enough time sleeping!

Now that you know, what are you going to do about it?

I’m going to work on getting more sleep!

Tell me what you’re going to do to improve your happiness.