Come Together (Right Now)
Most of us have grooved to the Aerosmith song “Come Together,” making us feel that we could conquer the world hand-and-hand. Well, that feel-good feeling may not be so far off from reality. It turns out, when we “come together” or have social support, we make our lives, and consequently, our world a better place. And this can be especially true for women.
Although there are countless reasons why it’s vital that women commune (or have social support), here are three reasons that shine brightly:
We perform better.
That’s right. We up our game! We do our thang! We do our thug thizzle. I think you get the point. Intuitively, this makes sense, but it’s a bonus that research supports this as well. Women who balance the mother, parental carer (yup, that’s a real term for the parent that primarily holds down the fort) and worker roles report that social connection is part of their recipe for success. And even aging adults and students benefit from social support. Essentially, social support helps the mental and physical performance of aging adults and helps students perform better in school.
We are healthier.
Social support can lead to healthier behaviors like eating fruits and vegetables (we all know those are good for us), physical activity (love it, hate it) and even smoking cessation. Women with social support have lower blood pressure, consume less alcohol and may even sleep better. Quite the opposite seems to be true as well. Women who report a lack of social support have higher blood pressure, increased alcohol consumption, irregular sleep and consume more alcohol. Considering the health behaviors of women with social support, it’s no surprise that they have a reduced risk of disease and, in turn, healthy aging.
We are more resilient.
When we get knocked down, social support helps us get up a bit easier and faster. And when we get knocked down really hard, it makes, even more, the difference. From day-to-day stresses of life to serious illnesses like coronary heart disease, Type II Diabetes, and PTSD and other mental health disorders, having social support leads to more positive health outcomes when faced with various degrees of stressors.
So let’s come together, right now!
What have you experienced in your life that has changed for the better because of your relationships and social support networks? Feel free to share!