Did you know there are health benefits to spending time with friends and family? It’s true! Humans are social and rely on other humans to maintain their mental, emotional, and physical health. Inviting your friends and family to spend quality time together isn’t just for fun; it can impact your life in more ways than you know!
It’s no secret that confiding in your friends and family is a healthy way to relieve stress. Stress can lead to a variety of health issues, such as high blood pressure, headaches, and heart arrhythmia. A survey, cited by Forbes, from the American Psychological Association estimated that 36% of Americans increase their social interaction to deal with stress. When you and your family spend quality time together, you can prevent these stress related health issues and avoid unhealthy stress coping mechanisms such as binge eating or smoking.
During a nine year study, researchers found that people who lack social ties were about three times more likely to die during those nine years than those who have strong relationships with their friends and family. Research also indicates that even people with unhealthy lifestyles that are able to maintain strong relationships are more likely to live longer than those without social connections. Spending time with your family and friends can help lead you to a longer life.
The health benefits of spending time with friends and family can extend to every part of a person’s life. Loved ones can encourage positive behaviors—like exercise and eating healthy— and discourage negative behaviors—like smoking and doing drugs. Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin concluded that when family and friends spend quality time together, they influence each other’s lifestyle behaviors. If your best friend loves going running, chances are you might try it with her. If your parents tend to prepare healthy meals at family dinners, you’ll probably pick up on that habit. Spending quality time on positive relationships can help you make great choices.
Another one of the health benefits of spending time with friends and family is improved mental health. Social interaction and mental health have long been linked together for having a cause-and-effect relationship. According to Psychology Today, face-to-face contact can reduce the risk of mental illness, such as depression and anxiety. Texting and social media are no substitution for spending time with friends and family as they can provide emotional support to those navigating life’s challenges. If you’re going through troubled times, surrounding yourself with a strong network of people can help prevent improve your mental health.
Everyone has doubts and insecurities now and again. One thing that always seems to help is feeling valued and appreciated by the people you care about. When you and your friends and family spend quality time together, you feel loved and valued by them—helping you create a positive image of yourself. Your friends and family are always there to congratulate you on your successes and to remind you of your worth during your failures. Being surrounded by a supportive network of people can help you build confidence and maintain a healthy self-esteem.
There are so many health benefits of spending time with friends and family. Whether you play a board game, share a meal, or even run errands together—it is important for your health to find ways to feel connected to those around you.
The Road to Heaven board game was created as a ministry to bring families and church groups together and to give people an opportunity to play an educational, wholesome game while learning scripture. To find out more about the game, visit our website or give us a call. You can also find Road to Heaven on Facebook.