Socializing = Happiness + Brain Health
Regular socializing is one of the keys to healthy aging and retirement—socializing averts loneliness, a killer worse than obesity, and interaction with others stimulates your brain cells, averting cognitive decline.
Pick up your phone and call or text a friend and set a date for coffee! (Men, this is especially important for you. For whatever reason, women are better at socializing than us, and I’ve seen married couples in retirement fall into an unhealthy pattern. Men lose the social network they had at work and become dependent on their wives both for company and to organize their social lives. The fact is, however much she loves you, your wife didn’t ask for and doesn’t want this job. It will drive her crazy and it will jeopardize your relationship.)
I have a couple of friends I see regularly for coffee. We debate politics (I believe in ignoring the common advice to avoid controversial topics), talk about movies we’ve seen, catch up on other friends and talk about our kids. When it’s over I wonder where the time went, and I always leave in a positive frame of mind. Don’t wait to get started! As the philosopher and psychologist William James wrote: “Sow an action, and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and reap a destiny.”
The small step of meeting a friend for coffee can lead to a destiny of happiness and longevity.
(More Tuesday Tips here.)