NIVEA are celebrating their 100th birthday this year – I was lucky enough to go an celebrate in Hamburg with them (and Rihanna) back in May… but beyond big parties on boats they have also commissioned some really interesting research on how important closeness is to us today.
The ‘closeness barometer’ has been investigated by Geoff Beattie to figure out if there are some real health and wellbeing benefits to closeness. He found that there are loads, making quality time with our favourite people as important as regular exercise and eating our greens. The results showed that time with loved ones can apparently lead to:
– a healthier heart
– a lower risk of cancer
– better mental health
I can definitely vouch for the last one! I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t feel as happy if I haven’t spent time with my closest friends and when I do spend time with them I feel all content and happy. Which is lucky because I’m soon meant to be on holiday for a week with them! If I came away feeling grumpy that would not be a good sign…
The research showed that there is a link between lonely people and unhealthy coping mechanisms – like smoking and excessive drinking. I would hazard a guess that emotional eating is another one too… If I also told you that lonely people often suffer from a build up of stress that can speed up the ageing process then I bet you won’t be ‘too busy’ to call that friend you haven’t spoken to in a while… I blame our busy lives today in making it all too easy to rely on online contact when there really isn’t anything as good as face-to-face to make us Feel Closer.
So, to promote the Feel Closer campaign, Nivea are asking you to get involved and share a moment on closeness. You can visit facebook.com/niveauk and upload a picture there or visit one of the Nivea road shows where you can hop into a photo booth and snap your contribution to the million moments of closeness. Every day Professor Beattie will choose the picture of the day and the winner will recieve one of 100 prizes worth £100. There are free goodies available at the road shows too, so worth a visit!
When it comes to friends I genuinely think that they are vital to happiness, but I don’t think it’s down to quantity – quality is far more important than numbers. I sometimes wonder if those with huge friendship groups actually miss out on the one-to-one closeness that really makes a friendship. I’d definitely take my small but very special group over a huge group any day. Either way, the Nivea campaign has got me thinking!