Socializing your way to longevity affluent magazine


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Socializing your way to longevity affluent magazine

  1. 1. LIFESTYLE SOCIALIZING YOUR WAY TO LONGEVITY By Debbie Mandel T his is the season of dinners, parties and structured celebrations. Many find It really does take a village of friends and family to deal with daily stress. I don’t these joyful obligations stressful or annoying: “I dislike small talk and want to stress you out, but chronic stress has been proven to shorten lives (as walking around with a frozen smile” or “I know Aunt Helen is going to evidenced by shortened telomeres on strands of DNA). In addition, stress exacerbates interrogate me about my diet.” Have you become critical, as if you can’t pre-existing disease conditions, particularly of the autoimmune variety, due to the help but notice the flaws? Have you turned into Scrooge? Your negative perceptions inflammation process. And if one is depressed, lonely or anxious, stress causes self- might be due to projection. Similarly, positive comments can be self-revealing. For sabotage by reverting to unhealthy habits. On the other hand, being sociable with example, you are kinder to others when you are happy. Basically, you tend to see in friends and family can: others traits similar to your own which are fueled by mood. You just might be ■ Help build immunity to external turning into Aunt Helen! pressure by having a support system — how others would handle a similar Most things that upset your problem equilibrium challenge your self-worth in some way. Research conducted by ■ Provide a positive lens when one Dustin Wood, assistant professor of leans toward negative perception — to psychology from Wake Forest, explains help reframe personal bias toward that, “Your perceptions of others reveal anger, resentment and worry so much about your own personality.” Consequently, if you are mostly biased ■ Physically contribute to wellbeing to what’s wrong as opposed to what’s by helping with chores, money issues right, well, you can take it from there… and providing a network of “experts” for guidance — like a well-run village This is the season to turn on your inner light. The holidays keep us spiritually ■ Promote a feeling of belonging to a active, bring us together and create community where one is not helpless inner warmth when the weather turns and hopeless, but rather can make a cold and the days are shorter. Being unique contribution sociable along with volunteering is physically and emotionally vital for wellbeing. In contrast, the type D personality, who is distant and distressed, is more prone to Socializing has been ranked as beneficial for health on a par with exercise. Consider disease and at risk for premature death. It is easier during this time of year to cocoon this fusion therapy: Combine exercise with socializing by working out with others or indoors, experience some degree of Seasonal Affective Disorder and use the Internet taking classes at a gym or community center for an amazing synergy. Take a walk as a substitute for society. However, technology isn’t a good substitute for with family members after that big holiday dinner. relationships while family could be — first, you will need to get rid of your negativity bias! And if you are feeling alienated from humanity because of illness, disappointment, sadness or job loss, compel yourself to interact with others. The minute you open up In a 10-year longevity study of people aged 70 and older, researchers at the Centre about what you are feeling to another person, even your mother-in-law, you might for Ageing Studies at Flinders University in Australia concluded that a network of be surprised by the response: “I know what you mean. I felt the same way when…!” good friends is more likely than close family relationships to increase longevity. You will feel the phoenix rising in you. Apparently, one can choose his friends, but is often stuck with family. Other studies from Harvard have arrived at the same conclusion. The solution is to make friends with your family. The holidays provide an excellent opportunity — time and place — to reconnect with your gene pool: to re-appreciate what you already have and will always have, unlike friends who come and go in our lives or can turn into frenemies Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step betraying our vulnerable confidences. Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life, Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout and Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Note: You tend to judge your family harshly while you justify the same words or Mind and Soul, a stress-management specialist, host of the weekly Turn On actions when they come from you. This season, stop reliving perceived Your Inner Light Show on WGBB AM1240 in New York and has been indiscretions. Try to see Aunt Helen’s honest comments as helpful or at least well- featured on radio/TV and print media. To learn more, please visit her intentioned. When you get annoyed, ask yourself: What’s going on in my life? educational site 62 AFFLUENT MAGAZINE