As humans we all need to belong to a social group. We are not and never have been a one man team.
We have always needed the support of our community and friends. Studies today have shown that the greater our bond with our community and friends the better our health is.
The Amish would ostracize a member of their community if they didn’t live according to the Amish society. This was seen as the ultimate punishment that could be deemed upon a person. Because they no longer had the support of their community and had to go it alone. Today we think the more independent that we are the better and more successful we are. This has proven not to be the case!
Keeping up with the Jones's
In today’s world of trying to keep up with the Jones's we have lost what is really important in life and health. Belonging to a strong community is vitally important for us humans. A community were all members’ support each other. This improves your happiness it also has profound effects on your health.
Len Syme conducted a study that showed that if we are to abandon our social support network in order to prove how independent and successful we are. It dramatically increases our risk of not only suicide but also our risk of heart disease and death!
In his study of Japanese people all variables such as diet and lifestyle were accounted for. However the social support network had changed and people become more independent. In conclusion it was found that these people who had left their community and social support network had an increase of 2.5 times the likelihood of suffering from heart disease.
It was also found with elderly people who had a companion as simple as a pet were found to have a much reduced risk of heart disease in comparison to elderly people who had no pet.
The stronger we perceive ourselves as an individual as opposed to a member of a community the greater our risk of ill health. A recent study in Brigham Young University also found isolation has the same impact on your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Healthy adults who are part of a strong support group have lower levels of cholesterol. Along with improved immune function. This is as opposed to adults who do not have this emotional support.
To conclude our social bonds are very important and protect our good health.