Knowing your Neighbors Might Increase Happiness

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This month the temperatures are cooling and overall, people are in a good mood.  As we enter football season and scoot closer to October 31st, this is a great month to get out and meet your neighbors. How many of us have had actual conversations with the people that live next door or across the street? Research shows that social interactions with people may actually increase your happiness.

What is Research Saying?

Even though we are constantly “connected” to the world through technology, we live in a more disconnected, lonely, generation than ever before.  Depression and anxiety are becoming commonplace as in-person connections are being replaced with “likes” and status updates. 

A recent study explored personal strategies to happiness and the results were not surprising. 

“What seems true across cultures is that social connections are key to well-being. For example, very happy people are highly social and tend to have strong relationships; kids with a richer network of connections grow up to be happier adults; and socializing is one of the most positive everyday activities.”

Why does it matter?

What if the simple act of socializing with your neighbors could not only increase your happiness, but impact theirs as well? With Fall weather upon us, this is a great time to open your home and invite people over.  If football is something you love to watch on the weekends, try hosting a block party at your house and inviting your neighbors. Many people are yearning to be included and invited.  By taking the first step, you might give others the confidence to start inviting people to their home as well.

Halloween is another perfect way to meet your neighbors.  Grab some lawn chairs and sit on your porch instead of being inside behind a closed door.  Not only will help create more social interactions and conversations, but everyone you interact with will feel good and walk away with more of a sense of community.   Not to mention, you will get a front row seat to all of the action!

So What Now?

If social connection really does impact mental and emotional health, we should all make it a priority.  So this Holiday season let’s aim to be on our phones less and enjoy interacting with people more.  You can do this through volunteering with a local nonprofit or just being more present with your neighborhood and community. There are needs everywhere. Are we taking a moment to actually glance up and notice them?

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