Does Having An Active Social Life Make You Happier?

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By Dr. Hemamalini Lakshminarasimhan, Psychology

We live in a world where the number of followers on your Instagram account defines and categorises a person as popular or a social disaster. The world is all about networking now-a-days and sometimes, your networking skills supersede your actual qualifications in certain fields and your career. A social life can be determined by one’s relationship to their friends, family, neighbours, colleagues etc.

That raises a question in our minds – “Does having an active social life truly make you happier?”

Reasons why having a social life can have short-term and long-term benefits on your health-

  1. Major boost to self-esteem- Sitting in a public transport and chatting up with a stranger after a day’s long exhausting work can turn the frown upside down. When you see the person admiring your personality and presentation and giving positive feedback on your charm, it can really boost your morale and self confidence, and you will go home feeling happier about yourself.
  2. Loneliness can kill- Studies show that the mortality rate of a lonely person can be compared to that of a smoker and is in fact, higher than excessive consumption of alcohol or obesity for that matter.
  3. Gives you a broader perspective on life- Meeting different people and hearing their stories maybe almost equivalent to travelling across countries. Places tell stories, and most importantly, the people. Every person you meet has a different story, a different life experience that can educate you. While one may personally not be a fan of small talks and forced conversations, meaningful conversations and tales can be intriguing nonetheless.
  4. Healthier lifestyle- Because no one really likes going on a jog by themselves. Making friends in your locality with similar interests can motivate you to get out more often and get your daily dose of Vitamin –D. And voila! In no time you’ll be sporting the beach body that you had always dreamt of.

While a very happening social life can have several benefits, it is imperative to balance it with some “me-time”. In our ever bustling lives and work pressure, rarely do we get the time to indulge ourselves in activities that we truly love. So when you need a break from all the noise, go take a hike into the woods and get yourself some fresh air. Or whip out that free massage coupon that you got as a birthday gift and get going!