Reduce stress and anxiety—it's good for you

Best way to destress

One of the best ways to relax and destress is to spend some away-from-work time with those you love—family and friends. Spending more time with family is good but not always if it adds anxiety to the mix—especially if you're having family squabbles, even minor ones. This often creates stress at holiday times—but can rear its head any time you’re having issues with family and adversely affect your health and well-being.

Family time

With my cousin Robin.

Still, you don't want to miss family time if you can help it.  This is what memories are made of. Spend as much time as you can with the family members you truly feel at home with and not so much with the ones who put you on edge.

Also consider adding extra friendship time, especially with longtime friends. These are the people you choose to be with—instead of feeling obligated to be with—and may help you destress, even if the time you spend together is short or consists of a simple phone call. They’re likely the people you feel you can share anything with, good times or bad, because you've already been through so many ups and downs together—plus they probably already get it about your family pressures.

Longevity and friendship

Whether you spend your downtime with family or friends, it’s good to make sure you do.

Is it true that we increase our chances in the longevity stakes when we spend more time with friends and family.? Yes, say experts. According to a report published in JAMA Internal Medicine, 23 percent of people who reported being lonely during the study period died within six years. But only 14% of those with regular companionship died within the same period. (Report Simplemost)

TIME Magazine says that spending time with friends can be as important (or more so, (see above!) than spending your relaxing hours with family.  Quality friendships—with people you understand and get on with and vice versa—is especially important. As are friendships with spouses, children, and other family members. But the relaxation factor may be greater with longtime trusted friends, who have been through it all with you.

Spending time with friends is also a good way to destress generally—because the more anxiety you feel, the more it affects your health now and in the future. Stay tuned for more on anxiety and how it affects you.

The bottom line is that the more social interactions you have, the more impact this will have on your good health, well-being, and longevity.