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Benefits of Social Connection

  • The social environment can play an important role in protecting against cognitive decline in older age (Seeman, Lusignolo, Albert & Berkman, 2001) and having strong social networks contributes to better health outcomes for older people (Huxhold, Fiori & Windsor, 2013).

  • People with significant mental illness report that the support of family and friends was the most important factor in aiding their recovery (S. Cohen, 2005).

  • Successful workgroups are more likely when employees are friends with their colleagues (Harter et al., 2003).

  • Happiness is contagious - people who are surrounded by happy people are also more likely to be happy (Fowler & Christakis, 2008).

Image by Fabio Bracht

Our Tips

  • Build community by focusing on personal interests i.e. joining a class or group.

  • Step out of your comfort zone and ask questions of the people you don’t know well to find out more about them.

  • Create opportunities to connect whether it is taking a walk with a friend, hosting a dinner or inviting someone for coffee

  • Get in touch with people you’ve not spoken to for a while, like a relative or friend who lives in a different city or town.

  • Smile first.

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