Do you like to mingle? In a social gathering, are you down with starting a conversation with a complete stranger and ending up like long-time friends by the end of the night? Then good for you, as according to a recent feature on Health on Today, your party-loving flair may just add a few bonus years to your life.

Experts say that this is in relation to being an extrovert. Observing the social skills of 298 gorillas in Canada and US zoos for 20 years, researchers from the University of Edinburgh found that those who had more outgoing personalities outlived those who were more mild-mannered by three to four years.

The same principle seems to apply to humans: those who are sociable enough to regularly go out on a Saturday night are far healthier and live longer than those who choose to just veg in front of the TV.

There are two possible explanations for this phenomenon. One is that the DNA controlling how friendly you are toward other people may be closely related to the one that fosters a strong heart and immune system. Another is that being affable may help in reducing daily stress. Study author and psychology professor Alexander Weiss, Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh explains, "Having somebody who you get along well with may make it easier to cope." Stress is one of the main causes of many cardiovascular problems.

If you’re a bit of the shy type, it won’t hurt to try being outspoken, even just a little. Instead of spending your weekends browsing the internet, go out and have fun with friends. It doesn’t need to be a party; it can just be a simple hanging-out session which can even result in meeting more people. If you do try attending a big event with no one you really know, Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts In a World That Can't Stop Talking suggests striking up a one-on-one conversation with people who are also by themselves. This way, you can focus on each other and make lasting impressions.

Keeping the appropriate conversation going won’t just create healthier relationships, but also healthier--and longer--lives.

(Screencap from New Girl courtesy of Fox)

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