Cohabitation and its Positive Effects on Mental Health

We all know socializing is good for us. But what are the health benefits to human interaction? And what does this mean in terms of cohabitation?
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of social psychology, and how socialising with others can do absolute wonders for our mental and physical health.

 

 

 


The History of Cohabitation

Although cohabitation has made a huge comeback for the millennial generation, it’s not actually a new thing. A cohabitation survey called ‘The One Shared House’ was inspired by an experiment whereby eight women lived together in an Amsterdam house share in the late 60s. Everything about their way of living was communal. The women went from total strangers to dining nightly together and going on holidays together. The aim of the experiment was to explore the benefits of a way of living that was wholly collaborative. Each tenant would be able to have their own private room – but everything else was shared.

This was set up was because of a huge shortage of homes in Amsterdam at the time, and the government had issued a rule whereby at least 1% of apartments were to be communal. But it turns out this urban experiment, despite its teething problems – had some incredible outcomes. Children who grew up in the communal home were brought up in a totally inclusive and informative environment, learning lots about the world from a young age.

Cohabitation is Like a Modern-Day Commune in the City

But even before this experiment, communes have been a way of life for years – before skyscrapers and the commercialization of flats. Cohabitation research has shown, (through the One Shared House 2030 Survey) that 70% of people are living in cities now. Life as a millennial can be tough nowadays, with the job market being highly saturated and house prices sky-high. Cohabiting with other people – even though they are strangers – can do absolute wonders for our mental and physical health, and can transform our professional and personal lives in urban settings completely.

 

Survival: An Evolutionary Explanation of Socialising

Sticking together in a group

It all started back in the day when our ancestors were just beginning to figure out the whole survival game. Neanderthals had to stick together and play to each other’s strengths to survive. Evolution has taught us that connecting with other human beings is essential to survival. Lone survival was rare, and it made more sense for early humans to settle down in tribes – creating small civilizations where they could use the local lands to grow crops, they moving on to fresher resources when the time was right.

However, this would’ve also meant that there were other tribes competing for similar resources. ‘The Survival of the Fittest’ was prevalent here, as the weaker humans would have died out due to a lack of strength, skills, or intelligence. By the process of elimination and natural selection, the weaker humans would have died out and the more intelligent humans would have passed on their knowledge to one another.

Want to know a secret? Gossiping is an adaptive behavior type!

If there were rival tribes or other groups competing for the same resources or land, it would be an adaptive behaviour type to pass on snippets of information to one another. Although it’s hard to find solid scientific evidence of this – it makes a lot of psychological sense that we were designed to communicate or ‘gossip’ about the events surrounding our lives, because it would have increased our chances of survival in the wild.

 


 

Social Medicine

We always feel better after a bit of face-to-face interaction. After we interact with other people our nervous system is blessed with neurotransmitters called endorphins which are designed to reduce the bodily responses to anxiety. Endorphins are produced in the pituitary gland and are carried across the nerve synapses throughout the entire nervous system.

Every time we laugh, neurotransmitters calm our nervous system. Good job, neurotransmitters.

The production of endorphins can kill pain, and some even argue that dopamine is even more powerful than morphine for reducing pain.

Incredible for brain health

Maintaining regular socialisation throughout your lifetime and keeping a habit of this can reduce the risk of developing dementia in later years, as well as improve your overall brain health in general.

Generally speaking, people who converse more with other people on a daily basis are thought to have…

  • Better brain health
  • Increased memory
  • Reduces blood pressure

 

Find out what it’s all about

We’re always shouting about cohabiting and how great it is. Now it’s your turn! Come and have a chat with TheStudios if you want to find out what we’re all about.

We’re a friendly bunch living together in the heart of Wolverhampton. Our stylish flat block is the place we love to call home, and we promise a warm, welcoming community of fantastic residents!

 

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