Mingle your way to living a long healthy life

Mingle = ‘to move among and engage with others at a social function’

I love the word mingle, it creates the idea of social interaction, chatting and having fun.  All those things have been scientifically proven to help you to live longer, healthier and happier life.

Loneliness and social isolation are harmful to our health: research shows that lacking social connections is as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day (Holt-Lunstad, 2015). Social networks and friendships not only have an impact on reducing the risk of mortality or developing certain diseases, but they also help individuals to recover when they do fall ill (Marmot, 2010).

Here in the Mingle heart of the Longevity Tree I have outlined 5 tips to get you mingling!

  • Dining together – make contact with friends and family regularly, invite them over for a fuddle (this is where everyone brings a dish to the party and you share).  Or join a pudding club.
  • Laugh – laughter is such a tonic, A good laugh can be compared to a mild workout, as it exercises the muscles, gets the blood flowing, decreases blood pressure and stress hormones, improves sleep patterns and boosts the immune system.  Find things that make you giggle, you will feel amazing afterwards.  Be playful with your Grandkids, or pets.  Revisit the things you loved to do when you were a child.  I recently went back to horse riding, it was so good, I felt like a little girl again.
  • Find things to do on a regular basis and therefore a purpose to the day.  Having a routine is so good for your mental and physical health.  Interacting with others regularly stimulates the brain cells, socialising reduces risks of various kinds of ailments. Research reports have shown that socialising can help in preventing age related cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The act of giving can be so rewarding, there are numerous charities who need help with all sorts of jobs.  Thinking less about ourselves and more about others can in itself be such a healing act.  However, don’t forget to also look after yourself, having quality ‘me’ time is also good for health and longevity.  I guess it’s all about balance.
  • Loving, kinship, and caring all make us stronger, with health gains that range from faster healing to living longer.  This topic fell of deaf ears in my Health Classes in Derby.  The ladies (mostly over 65 years) felt that talking about LOVE was too, touchy feely!  But, as ever I talked about the health benefits (I’ll do anything in the name of health!). Here are a few to get us started:
    • Protects your heart A University of Pittsburgh study found that women in good marriages have a much lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those in high-stress relationships.
    • Leads to a longer life The National Longitudinal Mortality Study, which has been tracking more than a million subjects since 1979, shows that people in love live longer. Plus, they have fewer heart attacks and lower cancer rates, and even get pneumonialess frequently than singles.
    • Helps beat cancer University of Iowa researchers found that ovarian cancer patients with a strong sense of connection to others and satisfying relationships had more vigorous “natural killer” cell activity at the site of the tumor than those who didn’t have those social ties. (These desirable white blood cells kill cancerous cells as part of the body’s immune system.)
  • SOME MORE EXAMPLES OF MINGLING – Walking together, playing games, mentoring, tutoring, getting involved in volunteering jobs, joining discussions in real time, going to movies, going for picnic and excursions or short trips – these are some simple ways of socializing. Ramp up your social life and you will understand the crucial difference that makes.

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