Making new friends and combatting loneliness not only improves our mental health, it can also boost our physical health.
Psychologists have found that loneliness can reduce our willpower and perseverance, making it harder to tackle bad habits. Alcohol and drug use have also been linked to loneliness. The depth and breadth of our social links can have just as much of an impact on our health as diet and exercise.
So here are some tips to help you stay healthy by making the most of new connections:
…ask lots of questions. You’ll never run out of things to say if you ask them about their life and interests.
…be honest and open to new experiences.
…find time to hang out regularly, that is how friendships develop.
…try to be confident, make eye contact and say yes to invitations.
…expect to hit it off with everyone. It takes time to make the right connections.
…rush into friendships. Take time to find out if your new friends are right for you and share your interests.
…judge others. We all take different roads in life and we all make mistakes.
…try to change yourself to fit in with others – be yourself.