Of all human needs, companionship is the most important necessity for a happy, contented life. We are all social beings requiring interaction with other people at a variety of levels. We tend to perform better when placed in a group, rather than left alone. Our relationships address our different needs, be it social, emotional, physical or spiritual. Social isolation can lead to depression, and even cause diseases such as cancer, chronic pain or heart problems. Knowing that we have someone in this whole world to call upon, lean on, chat with or trust can help us live long, healthy lives.
Social relationships mostly comprise of acquaintances or colleagues at social gatherings, work, meetings or classes. Even the presence of strangers in buses, trains, theatres or shopping malls is required to believe that we are a part of the society. Social relationships can provide pleasant memories, a few laughs, opportunity to meet and know more people, and fulfill our need to feel accepted by others. Meeting a group of people over a cup of coffee or a game of cards can lift our spirits. Elderly people tend to reduce their social connections, mostly because of the amount of time spent at home, or due to physical disabilities. They can however join activity groups for senior citizens to fulfill their social needs.
Relationships that we share with our spouse, children, parents, relatives and friends can be emotional or spiritual in nature. Emotional relationships need time, caring, love, effort and understanding from both parties. Elderly citizens feel happy and loved, when surrounded by their family and friends. The elderly citizens can live with or in proximity of their children and grand children. This can help the elderly shower their love and support towards their family. They will also feel protected and safe, since their family is within reach at times of need. Fear of illness or accidents, loneliness and isolation will also fade away, since the elderly people are surrounded by their loved ones. Presence of love in life generates positive thoughts and a strong will to live a longer and healthier life. Elderly people need someone to talk to, express their thoughts and feelings, and share their ups-and-downs. A companion, be it your spouse, family member or a friend, becomes a witness of your life, and you become a witness of his life. A companion can thus bring meaning to your life, and help serve its ultimate purpose.
Sharing a relationship generates a sense of attachment and validates your existence. It generates mental peace and calm, and relaxes your being. A companion can also help you traverse the spiritual journey of life. When you begin to look at life in terms of the amount of care, love, support and warmth you have bestowed upon others, and the love, peace and satisfaction you have received in return, you can begin to forget all negative thoughts and experiences that have occurred in your life. Only then can you start realizing your true spiritual self, the self that is innocent, pure, honest and true, and contains infinite love and happiness.