Hang out with friends — it’s good for your health

Happy Monday friends of Chorus! We hope you had a wonderful weekend spent with folks you love! And not just because it’s fun to hang out with your people, but because social connection is actually extremely vital to our mental and physical health. In fact, over 70 years of scientific research has demonstrated that our relationships with other people are the single most important factor in determining our overall happiness. We need social relationships to thrive in this life!

We’ve spent the last week sharing the 7 principles of positive psychology from Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage and ways to practice these principles in our own lives. (You can check out all 7 principles on our Instagram page here.) And today we share the final, and arguably the most important principle about social investment – “In the midst of challenges and stress, some people choose to hunker down and retreat within themselves. But the most successful people invest in their friends, peers, and family members to propel themselves forward. This principle teaches us how to invest more in one of the greatest predictors of success and excellence [and happiness] — our social support network.”

Most of us do a great job at investing in our social networks – over the weekends. When we’re free from our weekly work schedules, it’s easy to carve out and commit to time with our friends and family. We can hop in the car and go explore a new place, spend a leisurely morning at the farmer’s market, finally take that hike we’ve been dreaming about, settle in for a game night – the options feel endless!

But then once Monday morning rolls around and we come face-to-face with our inbox and calendar, it seems like our investment in our social network is the first thing in our lives we sacrifice to make room for daily work and life responsibilities. We feel so stressed out by impending deadlines and agendas, that we deprioritize time with our friends and put off social engagements until the next weekend, or the next, or the next. This is a counterintuitive choice though – moments of stress and overwhelm are actually the moments we benefit most from having access to a strong social network around us. Exposure to our wonderful communities helps to increase our emotional, intellectual, and physical resources.

Mindfulness Monday Tip:
Plan a midweek friend meetup! We know it can feel daunting to think about engaging in a social activity midweek, but taking the time to check in and connect with others will actually help reduce those feelings of stress and anxiety. And we’ve got the perfect idea for your social sesh…

Bring a friend to class this Wednesday for your midweek meetup!

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