Positive Socializing Is Good For Your Health


Positive Socializing Is Good For Your Health
Cultivate your positivity to enhance your social interactions and improve your health and wellness.

An apple a day used to be enough to keep the doctor away. Or so we thought. We now know that a healthy diet and exercise are critical. We know we have to keep our weight down, and can't smoke or abuse alcohol in our quest for good health and longevity. Now we can also add spiritual activities like meditation to the wellness list. Meditation leads to improved emotional regulation, which leads to more positive social interactions, which leads to better health. Here's how it works.

Barbara Frederickson and her colleagues found a connection between a physiological measure of your vagus nerve activity and more positive emotions and social interactions. People with higher vagal tone, which has to do with heart regulation and the release of oxytocin, are happier and have more rewarding social interactions. After all, who wants to hang out with Debbie Downer? We're attracted to people who exude positivity and engage with us in upbeat ways.

How do you get higher vagal tone? Practicing a loving kindness meditation, prayer or other spiritual activity, is associated with increased vagal tone. People with higher vagal tone are good at regulating their emotions, are more altruistic and tend to get closer to others. We know that these spiritual practices improve self-control and self-awareness, so it's not a far cry to see how they would relate to being a more positive person.

In other words, you can learn to regulate how you feel. The more you do to achieve this improved vagal tone, the better you will be at emotional regulation. This is referred to as up-regulating positive emotions. Up-regulation means that you don't have to wake up feeling positive. You can do things to up-regulate and help yourself feel more positive.

Up-regulating affects your interactions with others. The more in control you are, the better you are at being connected with others and the more fun you are to be around. The more positive you are, the more social interactions you're likely to have. The end result is a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease, among other health benefits.

Departing a bit from this study, there is evidence that yoga, exercise, mindfulness or anything else that gives you a little peace and an increased sense of inner space, will move you in this positive, healthy direction. Feeling good increases connection with others, the active ingredient in this healthy diet, along with your daily apple, of course.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Judith Tutin

Life Coach

Judith Tutin, PhD, ACC

Location: Rome, GA
Credentials: ACC, PhD
Other Articles/News by Dr. Judith Tutin:

7 Ways You Choose Unhappiness (Without Even Realizing It)


As I approached a birthday, one with a ginormous number, a wise coach posed the question: If not now, when? I was grumbling about how I hadn't been getting enough done when I really wanted to spend more time reading, watching movies and the World Cup; in other words, engaging in activities that would result in getting even less done. If not now, when?, she ... Read more

10 Tips For Re-Entering The Dating Scene After Divorce

By , ,

The first date you have after (or during) your divorce is magical. You anticipate new love, new romance and even simply new friendship and camaraderie. It seems so dreamy, so playful and thrilling after all we've been through with our divorce or an intense severing of a relationship. The reality is we are recreating who we are anew. It's hard enough ... Read more

7 Steps To Reduce Insomnia


I was fascinated by the NY Times' two recent articles on sleep. One is about how to get more of it so you'll be more beautiful, featuring spas, sleep products and a barely perceptible nod to useful skills like meditation and relaxation. The companion piece is about makeup to hide the ravages of sleeplessness. Really? Sleep deprivation causes ... Read more

See More


Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.