Neighborliness is good for your health, but don’t just take our word for it. According to the National Institute of Aging, “research studies have shown a strong correlation between social interaction and health and well-being among older adults and have suggested that social isolation may have significant adverse effects for older adults.”
Their report listed the following results:
- Social relationships are consistently associated with biomarkers of health.
- Positive indicators of social well-being may be associated with lower levels of interleukin-6 in otherwise healthy people. Interleukin-6 is an inflammatory factor implicated in age-related disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and some forms of cancer.
- Social isolation constitutes a major risk factor for morbidity and mortality, especially in older adults.
- Loneliness may have a physical as well as an emotional impact. For example, people who are lonely frequently have elevated systolic blood pressure.
- Loneliness is a unique risk factor for symptoms of depression, and loneliness and depression have a synergistic adverse effect on well-being in middle-aged and older adults.
Social interaction doesn’t just benefit older adults, however. People of all ages benefit from socializing with their neighbors.
We compiled a list of ways being a social neighborhood could benefit you. You’ll note some are offbeat. This is a reflection of one of our beliefs that we shouldn’t take our work too seriously.
- Getting to know your neighbors and neighborhood can be fun and fulfilling.
- People who have meaningful relationships with their neighbors can feel more contentment.
- Opportunities may arise to pool talent and resources for greater accomplishments.
- You and your children have a deeper pool of prospects for discovering friendships which may develop into lifelong relationships.
- Introducing yourself and your family to your neighbors is not time-consuming.
- Hosting or helping to host a neighborhood get-together can be fun and easy to plan.
- Giving your neighbors a wanting about the upcoming outdoor graduation party or other potentially noisy events may help prevent ill-will when the DJ gets carried away with the volume.
- If your child takes up playing the tuba, a friend next door may be more tolerant during the early going.
- If you’re single, the girl or boy next door may turn out to be a keeper.
- If you plan on raising chickens, pigs, or other animals (local laws permitting), giving your neighbors a heads up could make them more tolerant of the situation, although don’t bank on it if a rooster is in the mix and they are not early risers.
- If you’re a husband who occasionally gets in trouble with your wife, your neighbor’s couch is probably a more comfortable place to spend the night in comparison to the dog house.
- When you get stuck working on a “some assembly required” project, who better to ask for help than the neighbor you bailed out when he or she was in a similar situation?