It's Healthy to be Sociable!

by DavalosMcCormack on December 6, 2010

My youngest daughter moved from Seattle back to San Francisco last year.  She had a terrific social network in Seattle, she hosted a radio show on the internet, she had friends who invited local  bands and friends to get together and  listen to local musicians, she had roommates and good friends…. she had a job in a frame store and a coffee shop, she rode her bike and she met a really neat guy.

Wet, wet, wet

Life was pretty great… except for the fact that it rains a lot in Seattle. A lot.  She knew that when she moved there.  But… it really rains a lot and she is a California Girl and there’s a big difference between knowing something intellectually and having to live with the reality of it.  I mean she thought it rained a lot in Seattle and then, well, it just rained too much so she decided to come back to San Francisco.

Coming home isn’t always easy!

It had been years since she lived in San Francisco, in fact, she actually never lived in the City as such, she lived just across the Bay in Mill Valley.  So when she came back to San Francisco she didn’t know anyone.  All of her high school friends were off in other places living their lives.  She felt lonely.  So she decided to do something that she did in Seattle. In Seattle she created “Stranger Dinners”  – yes, strangers eating together.  These were dinners where she invited a group of people who didn’t know each other to share a meal. They were designed to help you meet people you didn’t know before.  If you click on the name, Ari will tell you how to do one for yourself.

Stranger dinners are good for you!

It turns out that Ari wasn’t just doing something to help others, she was also helping herself. And in ways she might not have imagined. That’s because having a social life not only picks up your spirits, but socializing keep you healthy!

In a study in the British Medical Journal of 2,761 people, 65 and older, who were followed for a period of 13 years, the researchers tracked participation in 14 activities, which included everything from swimming and brisk walking to shopping, doing volunteer work, and playing cards with the gang. They found that people who spent time in social activities — volunteering, running errands, or getting together with friends — fared just as well as those who spent the time exercising.

Just imagine how people with friends and an active social life and who also went to the gym did!

So if you are new in town, any town, and don’t really know anyone, meet a stranger and invite him/her/them to dinner! (But read how to do it safely from my daughter’s blog, “I made this for you!) first.

It might not just give your social life a boost. It could give your whole life a boost.  Strange but true!

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