The start of a new year always fills people with newfound hope and goals. This year, we’ll eat, live and be better. Well, it turns out the idea of New Year’s resolutions isn’t a modern concept. The earliest record of New Year celebrations was 4,000 years ago in Babylon where Babylonians made promises to the sun god Marduk in order to receive a blessed year ahead.
The most popular resolutions usually involve three things: losing weight, getting organised and saving money. Not surprisingly, saving money for luxuries like laptops and holidays is the top New Year’s resolution for Singaporeans (we are as always a pragmatic bunch).
But while all of these are valid, we think there’s one that’s worth adding to the list. And trust us, it’s probably one of the easiest to stick to…
This year, I will spend more time with friends and family
Here are some reasons to schedule some ways to do just that:
Happiness is infectious
If you hang out with a friend you consider to be happy, you are more likely to be happy. And the people around you also catch on! The Framingham Heart Study that took place between 1983 and 2003 showed that happiness tends to spread within the immediate social group, and to their contacts as well.
It helps you lead a healthier life
A study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University found that people with a strong support network are less likely to turn to negative stress coping mechanisms (think alcohol or smoking). And since stress is one of the top causes of cardiovascular wear and tear, surrounding yourself with friends and family can help to relieve stress, and keep your heart happy and healthy!
It gives you a sense of purpose
According to Karyn Hall, director of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Centre in Texas, relationships with friends and family makes you feel like you’re part of something bigger. “A sense of belonging to a greater community improves your motivation, health and happiness,” she wrote in Psychology Today.