Social groups are incredibly important, especially for those over Social support is one of the major buffers we have against depressive disorders and a flourishing level of mental wellbeing. This is very important for engagement and remaining connected once the kids have left home and provides real meaningful pursuits to look forward to. Evolutionary psychologists explain that the innate need to affiliate and form social bonds has been literally wired into our biology. When we make a positive social connection, the pleasure-inducing hormone oxytocin is released into our bloodstream, immediately reducing anxiety and improving concentration and focus. Each social connection also bolsters our cardiovascular, neuroendocrine, and immune systems, so that the more connections we make over time, the better we function. In fact, researchers have found that social support has as much effect on life expectancy as smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, and regular physical activity. One study found that people who received emotional support during the six months after a heart attack were three times more likely to survive.
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