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How to Be More Social and Why It Makes You Healthier & More Successful

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  • How to Be More Social and Why It Makes You Healthier & More Successful

    For some, being social is second-nature. For this group of extroverts it would seem nearly impossible NOT to meet new people, surround themselves with friends and generally be a social butterfly.

    For others, being social is more of a chore, and it may not be something you enjoy. Likewise, it could be that you enjoy being social, but have lost touch with your friends and are having a hard time making new ones.

    Well, whether you enjoy being social or not, research shows that it s quite beneficial for your health to be involved with others. Meanwhile, losing touch to the point where you become socially isolated can be dangerous.

    Risks of Being Isolated, and Benefits of Being Social

    It s been known as far back as 1979 that social isolation increases your risk of death. One study published that year in the American Journal of Epidemiology actually found that people who were socially isolated were two to three times more likely to die during a nine-year period than people with many friends.

    The increase in morbidity with social isolation is equal to that of cigarette smoking,said Martha McClintock, PhD, a University of Chicago psychology professor.

    It s also known, according to a study in the January 2005 issue of the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, that women who lack emotional support and social interaction are more likely to have disturbed sleep.

    Meanwhile, a study in the April 2005 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that when people are socially excluded they re less likely to regulate behaviors such as eating and drinking, which suggests they may make self-sabotaging decisions such as overeating or drinking alcohol in excess.

    On a more positive note, socializing offers many health benefits for your mind and body.

    "Just talking on the phone to a friend has the immediate effect of lowering your blood pressure and cortisol levels," says Teresa Seeman, PhD, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at UCLA in a Prevention magazine article. "Our research shows that having good long-term relationships provides as many physical benefits as being active or a nonsmoker."

    Social people are also more likely to have an increased sense of self-worth, and to convey this confidence in networking situations, which could directly impact their future success.

    How to be More Comfortable in Social Situations

    So what should you do if you re not a naturally social person?

    First off, recognize that even though society favors extroverts, they are no more valuable than you are if you are introverted,says Hale Dwoskin, CEO and director of training of Sedona Training Associates.In fact some of the most famous innovators in the arts and sciences have all been introverted.

    Whether you shy away from social situations because of low self-esteem or because you are introverted, you can feel more comfortable around others by learning to let go of your negative thoughts and fears (such as a fear of being embarrassed in front of others). Learning to let go is something you can learn how to do easily with The Sedona Method.

    When you let go of your fears, your natural confidence, and your inner energy, will easily show through.

    My definition of an introvert is someone who believes their energy comes from within and someone who is extroverted believes their energy comes from outside of them,Dwoskin says.

    If you would like to be more outgoing and comfortable in social situations remember that you can still get energy from inside yourself even when you are with others,Dwoskin continues.You can also let go of wanting others to like you or approve of you, and love yourself as you are.

    Lastly,he says,allow yourself to let go of wanting to protect yourself in social situations. When you guard yourself against others you lose energy and feel uncomfortable. I would recommend that you become open and transparent instead.

    The Sedona Method is your first step toward achieving a social network (and enjoying every minute of it). The more you release your inhibitions, your need for approval and your resistance (conscious or unconscious) to meeting others, you will find that you re easily able to make the social connections that will keep you happy and surrounded with loving support.
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