Combining our need for social interaction with our need for social well-being is a great step in increasing your joy in life. Rath and Harter, in their book Well Being, talk further about the risk of dying from heart disease or getting sick is twice as likely for people who have few close relationships. Close relationships affect our health and well-being and even more so if they are in close proximity.
Studies show that people who have a best friend at work are happier. Since you are around people at work – a lot of the time – make an effort to develop good, fun relationships in which you share, support each other, and laugh together.
If you work alone, reach out, get out, network, and engage socially with friends and family during your waking hours. This can include electronic forms of communicating with others through emails, facebook, twitter, and on the phone.
The past few months this need for pure social interaction has become even more evident to me as I work alone much of the time. To counteract this, I have reached out to some woman I like and connect with who are also working alone. Monthly we call each other to just talk, chat, catch up and share. No agenda, no goal, no purpose other than to enjoy each other and share. Albeit this isn’t daily and is virtually, it is something I look forward to and makes me feel good long after our conversation.
In fact, Harter and Arora at Gallup have collected data from over 140,000 Americans and asked people to tell them if they had a great day or a worry/stressful day. They correlated this with the number of hours spent with friends and family including on the phone, emails, and social networking. They discovered that to have a good day, the daily recommended dose of social time is 6 hours per day. The implications are fascinating for increasing your joy in life and decreasing stress. Remember this includes work and home time, in person, electronic, and telephonic interactions