Getting social - Food for the Brain

Getting social

As water is to fish, social interaction is to us humans. When was the last time you went to a social gathering? This could be meeting friends, going to the movies, a museum, a gallery, a show, church or temple, or a restaurant? Anything that had you exchange ideas with others? When was the last time you met new people?

Best of all, for your mind, is to expose yourself to new ideas, new ways of seeing or thinking, and have the opportunity to discuss these with others. Something that gets you thinking and feeling differently and swapping ideas. There are many opportunities, for example, to volunteer, perhaps helping others, planting trees or supporting the local arts club. Your goal this week is to make sure you have, at least, one social gathering where you either meet new people, or share some new learning, like a film or a museum, and get to discuss this with another, be it your partner, friend or fellow ‘groupie’ if you join a book club, for example.

Check out what’s on near you. Your local bookshop or library will know about book clubs. Your local art centre will know about what’s happening in that arena. Your local allotment will know about gardening groups. Perhaps, call up someone you haven’t seen in ages. When we were teenagers we’d explore and exchange new ideas, try new things. Who did you hang out with? Who challenged your thinking? Get in touch with them.

If you walk in the park, or walk your dog if you have one, say hi to people. Make the effort to make a connection. Drop in on a neighbour. Invite them round for a cup of tea.

It’s all too easy to get locked into a way of living that removes any form of challenging social interaction yet this is not only how we learn, it also nourishes the social aspect of who we are. So, make sure you have a significant social event or interaction every week, starting with this week.