How do you like to spend your free time? Playing video games? Watching television? Scrolling through social media? If this is how you spend the majority of your free time, you might want to reconsider. The reason is that friendships and close relationships could be the key to living a longer, healthier life. It appears a lack of social connections can damage your health more than smoking and obesity.

There have been several studies that show why being connected to others is extremely important for all of us. If someone feels lonely on a regular basis, he is less likely to fight off illnesses. Think about it. Imagine not seeing friends or family, or not having any social outlet. Lack of interaction with others can negatively affect our body and mind.

Getting involved with other people has multiple health benefits such as increased immunity, stress reduction and lower blood pressure. Other positives with making social connections are improvements in important hormones and our cardiovascular system.

So how can you become more active socially? It’s all about making great connections with both your friends and family. Make time to get together with a friend, mentor, or family member as often as possible. You could join a club, take an art class, or sign up for a class at the gym. The possibilities are endless when it comes to social interaction. It's not only fun, it's also good for your health.