Seniors Who Are Social Are Healthier

Seniors who lead active lives like playing cards and generally hanging out with friends feel healthier and are healthier than there less social peers. Friends make things fun and keep you fit!

Dr. Nicole Anderson is a clinical neuropsychologist at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto, where she’s leading a research project called BRAVO. It looks at the effects of volunteering among adults aged 55 and older from physical, cognitive and social functioning perspectives.

“Engaging in more social activities was related to better self-reported health and less loneliness and more life satisfaction,” Anderson said of the Statistics Canada research. “But that relationship really depended on whether they felt that those social relations were of high quality. That substantiates the claim that quality is more important than quantity.”

It’s thought that social connectedness helps the immune system to work better, lower stress hormone levels and offers psychological benefits, Anderson said.

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Solitude is for Winners

In western culture we often look down on those that want to be alone, indeed, we label them as anti-social. Really, we shouldn’t be doing that. What we should be doing is finding time for ourselves, a time to be alone in solitude.

The power of feeling alone is pretty compelling. So get out there (or stay in) and get some of that much needed alone-time.

One ongoing Harvard study indicates that people form more lasting and accurate memories if they believe they’re experiencing something alone. Another indicates that a certain amount of solitude can make a person more capable of empathy towards others. And while no one would dispute that too much isolation early in life can be unhealthy, a certain amount of solitude has been shown to help teenagers improve their moods and earn good grades in school.

“There’s so much cultural anxiety about isolation in our country that we often fail to appreciate the benefits of solitude,” said Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist at New York University whose book “Alone in America,” in which he argues for a reevaluation of solitude, will be published next year. “There is something very liberating for people about being on their own. They’re able to establish some control over the way they spend their time. They’re able to decompress at the end of a busy day in a city…and experience a feeling of freedom.”

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G(irl)s 20 Summit During the G20 Summit

The G20 is coming to Toronto this June, and as a result, some organizations are trying to make sure that some smart thinkers show up too. The G(irl)s 20 Summit aims to bring forwarded thinking girls to Toronto to discuss the future of the planet and the role that girls can play in making it a better place for all.

There are 3.3 billion girls and women in the world – and they should be integral to, and included in the development of innovative, sustainable and socially responsible solutions to the world’s economic and social challenges.

Meeting in Toronto from June 16th – 26th, we will bring together one girl from each G20 country to discuss and promote tangible, scalable solutions toward economic prosperity.

What you can do to get involved:
Check the official website: Girls and Women
Join the Facbook group/a>
Apply to attend!

Grin to Win

If you want to meet happy, fun people online all you have to do is smile. Putting a picture of yourself smiling on a social networking site (Facebook, Bebo, etc.) will attract people who are fun!

Happy people cluster together, the research suggests. And the opposite also seems to be true — so if you are miserable, you are more likely to have miserable friends.

The effect holds in both the real and virtual worlds. People who put smiling photos on their profiles for social networking sites such as Facebook tend to link to one another. Frowners do likewise.

But it’s not just direct contact that counts. The link is significant to three degrees of separation — that is, your own emotional state is connected to that of your friends’ friends’ friends.

“Your happiness depends on the happiness of individuals beyond your own social horizon,” says sociologist Nicholas Christakis of Harvard University in Cambridge, who carried out the study. “You can understand happiness by studying individuals, but that only gets you so far. There’s more to be learned by studying the group.”

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