A Friend Indeed: Socializing Can Help Reduce Memory Loss
Studies claim that engaging yourself in social activities and sharing light moments with friends can help you retain your memory and reduce wear and tear of the brain cells, even at old ages. The memory loss problem more often seen in elderly women can be cured simply by socializing more with family and friends, a study and census results proved.
A research team at the Harvard School of Public Health used the Health and Retirement study data which was gathered over a period of 6 years, from 1998 to 2004, mostly of the American adult population of ages 50 years and up and performed several studies on them. The testers were given a list of words to read and were later asked to recollect what they read after a five minute delay. The testers were put to measurement of social integration based on their life scenario, marital status and relationships with parents, children and neighbours and the volunteer activities performed by them.
The results showed that people in their 50s and 60s who were more involved socially had the slowest memory degradation rate and could remember most of the words. The study was conducted at periodic intervals over a time span of two years and variables like culture and formal education was also taken into consideration. It was found that those who had less than 12 years of education were sharper because of socializing than those who were less social, the logical reason being that they had a lot to take from such gatherings and social get-together.
A study at the Southern California Permanente Medical Group involved collecting groups of old aged women and interviewing them. The research was carried out between 2002 and 2005 and it pooled data from over 2000 members of the health maintenance organization, and compared the health conditions for women with and without memory problems. It was found that women who were less social and kept to themselves were mostly suffering from cognitive function and dementia. Dementia refers to a disease which leads to a serious loss of cognitive ability and also results in memory losses, and is caused by old age. These problems were however less prevalent in socially active ladies.
A dilemma here is whether the memory problems come due to lack of socializing or whether socializing actually helps reduce memory losses. Scientists could debate for hours but the conclusion is that socializing benefits your memory cells and exercises your brain.[pullquote_right]Socializing benefits your memory cells and exercises your brain.[/pullquote_right]
A peaceful human society is defined as a community of people living in a particular region and having shared customs, laws, and organizations. But there is no peace where there is no love. It is considered to be divine, to be pure and relates to Allah SWT. Mercy lies in the heart of the beings that can learn to love. And when this love resolves around Allah SWT it surely becomes divine and the relationship is blessed and nourishing.
A story tells us about two friends walking in a desert when they have an argument at some point of time and of the friends slaps the other one. The one who got slapped is hurt deeply but remains calm and wrote in sand, “Today my friend slapped me”. They kept walking on and came across an oasis where the friend who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started to drown, but his friend saved him. He was deeply moved and wrote on a stone: “Today my friend saved my life”. When asked why he wrote on sand when he hurt and why on the stone later, he replied “When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand to allow the winds of forgiveness to erase it and when someone does something good for us, we should engrave it on a stone so that it can never be erased.
Prophet Muhammad SAW once said that a person who meets with others and shares their burdens is better than one who lives a life of seclusion and contemplation. To be social, we must learn to forgive and forget the bad, and cherish and encourage the good. A socializing person is a loving person and one must get rid of his loneliness and share their life with family and friends.
Let us pray that we are eligible to be included in this category of people:
Allah will ask on the Day of Judgment: “Where are those who loved each other for the sake of My glory? Today, on a day when there is no shade but Mine, I shall shade them with My shade.” (Muslim)