by Dr. Alfred Anduze
“Social Connections and Your Health” is a contemporary look at the origins, evolution, history, and science of human social life. In the text we look at where this behavior came from, where it is at present and where it maybe going. The biochemistry of socializing and the formation and management of social connections involving the presence and activity of feel-good hormones and feel-bad hormones vying for expression and based on genetics, environment, and oxidative stress are presented in terms of positive and negative effects. Pro-Social and antisocial behavior are discussed with emphasis on the influence of each on human interactions as well as on the mental and physical health of individuals and groups, with respect to their association with anxiety, depression, heart disease, dementias, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Friendships and hostilities, cooperation and conflicts are closely linked to longevity and quality of life. We see how anti-social behavior manifests itself in lack of basic manners, rudeness, snobbery, selfishness, us vs them exclusions and the concept of “others” and its resultant dysfunctional societies. Social experiences compare the effects of friendliness and indifference in shaping the character of a people within counties and regions. Protocols for building and improving social skills among the various age groups are suggested and provided. The effects of social distancing and isolation in the present Covid pandemic are examined and possible solutions to minimize the damages to mental and physical health are provided. Emphasis is placed throughout on the importance of socializing across diverse lines and the quality and quantity of social behavior and its close connections with good health.