During the pandemic, many of us have grown accustomed to more of our day-to-day lives taking place online. Online discussions are great when we’re forced to work from home, but scrolling social media feeds and communicating through virtual meetings can give us a false sense of connection. 

While virtual meetings have helped ensure jobs get done, they simply can’t take the place of real, in-person human interaction.

Brene Brown, a leading sociologist who specializes in human connection, said, “The truth of the matter is that a sense of social connection is one of our fundamental human needs.”

After a year or more of practically living online, we need social connection now more than ever. As the world opens up more and we start to move about socially again, we’re seeing just how important getting together with a group of friends can be.

Here are some reasons why having fun with friends is so valuable:

Strengthens Relationships

Improving your relationships with others is one of the most important aspects of having fun with friends. Laughing, talking, or solving a puzzle give us a sense of usefulness, connection, and meaning. 

Experiencing something fun that is also problem solving can reinforce that bond with friends even more. Sharing a common goal makes your connections stronger, which is why booking an escape room or attending an interactive show such as the The Dinner Detectives can be so rewarding.

Reduces Stress

Let’s face it, our stress levels are on the rise. But one thing that helps fight stress is having fun. Research has shown that laughter can strengthen the immune system and even increase our threshold for pain. Relaxing and having fun is shown to reduce levels of cortisol, which in the primary stress hormone.

Better Sleep

When you’re with friends, you’re likely to laugh, relax, and be a part of all sorts of leisure activities, all of which are known to help you sleep more soundly. Having fun with friends reduces cortisol levels, and those with lower levels of stress are more likely to have a good night’s rest.

Boosted Energy

Having fun and enjoying time with friends can also help boost your energy levels. How? Well, if laughing and having a good time reduces stress and helps you sleep better, you’re likely to make you feel more awake and better able to concentrate. 

Stress and any sorts of pain can be draining, both mentally and physically. As it turns out, stopping, slowing down, and enjoying time with friends might be exactly what you need to boost your energy levels.

Improved Memory and Concentration

We all have long to-do lists, which often leads us to being mentally overwhelmed. Not only does having fun with friends reduce cortisol levels, but it’s also shown to increase serotonin levels. 

Serotonin regulates, among other things, cognition and memory. Which means not only will you be having a good time with friends, you’re also improving your brain function and memory.