It is proven that humans are social creatures and it is important for our mental and physical health to have relationships and good contact with other humans to become socially healthy.
What is Social Health?
If a person has the quality to interact with others and form a meaningful relationship with others, then it means that the person is ‘socially healthy along with a quality to adopt a new social engagement. Social relationships have an impact on our mental health, physical health and mortality risk as well.
Research has shown that there is a link between social relationships and health outcomes as well and social relationships have both short and long-term effects on our health.
To know if you are socially healthy, then there are some major signs to follow:
- You always balance your social and personal time
- In your community, you engage with other people
- You adapt yourself to any social situations
- You respect people and do not misbehave
- You know how to develop and maintain friendships and networks
- You balance your social and personal time perfectly
- You have the ability to build boundaries in friendships and relationships to encourage communication and conflict management
- You have a strong network of family and friends
- You have hobbies and enjoy fun activities in your life
Why Is Social Health Important?
Our overall health and well-being depend on our social health. According to the Australian Government “social relationships are protective of mental health” and every day when we meet with people, the quality of our relationships leads to better mental and physical health. These relationships are friendships, family, relatives, colleagues and neighbors.
Studies show that people who do not have social interactions have the following health issues due to poor social health:
- Suffering a heart attack
- Chronic disease
- Mobility issues
- High blood pressure
- Raised stress hormones leading to inflammation
- Poor mental health
- Anxiety & depression
- Poor immune system
Disadvantages of Social Relationships
It is a bitter fact that not all relationships are healthy. Relationships always provide emotional support for most people, but sometimes, these relationships can be a source of extreme pain. Some of the examples are given below:
People change with the time
You might have had a good friend at high school, but ten years back, you both had to move on, in different ways and years later when you meet, you do not enjoy each other’s company as much as you did, in the past. When you meet again, you may feel that there are many changes in your friend now. Many times, people change and this happens eventually with time.
Having friends is very important but what is more important is to have good friendships and those people around you who are a good influence on you. A positive friendship will bring out the best in you and will encourage you to achieve your goals in life.
What is the most painful in our lives, is a relationship which is toxic. In such a kind of relationship, one partner always takes advantage of the other one and tries to dominate the other person by getting him to do things and does not return the favour.
It is always better to live alone than with toxic relationships since it can do a lot of physical and mental harm.
How to Improve Your Social Wellness
After reading the signs, if you think that you have some issues, then you are still not late because every stage of life has opportunities to enjoy a socially healthy life.
Start with Self Care
You need to practice self-care, before you begin to improve your social health, you will have to start getting enough sleep, eat a healthy balanced diet, exercise and leave excessive alcohol or any type of drugs. Understand the causes of your stress and how to deal with them.
Making New Friends and Maintain Friendships
It is often observed that most social, confident people are always careful about making new friends. But they do make friends who are good for their lives and mental health as well and maintain these relationships as well.
Careful and Interesting Conversation
Always be careful before talking to anybody, be sure, who the person is and what his/her area of interests are and the kind of people they actually are. Listen to their responses and if you have something in common, continue the conversation by talking more about that interest.
If you don’t keep in regular contact, you will lose your friends. If you do not have time, at least contact one or two friends each week, you can even send an email or text message or directly call them as well. In this way, you can show them love, care and the value that you have for your relationship. Have something fun time as well like shopping, an outing together or just catching up on coffee.
You have to find your friends
Some people do not need close friendships, they prefer plenty of low-key friendships and acquaintances throughout the lives. You can meet new people by joining a group or volunteering or joining a youth group.
A place where you do exercise
Join a gym or take your pet to the park at the same time each day, in this way you can see the same people and then you will be able to start up a conversation with them. You will also be able to form new relationships and will improve your social health.
Nourish Your Relationships
There are various things that you can do to make sure that the people around you can see your efforts and even appreciate you and value you.
Don’t Blame or Criticize
Everyone has a right to live according to their own way. Do not try to force your ideas or opinion on anyone. Do not think that you are always right, chances are you may be wrong as well. And even if you are right, don’t act like you are. If you have any conflict, try to solve the issue without anger and recrimination.
Master Verbal and Non-Verbal Appreciation
In our surroundings, everyone wants to feel valued. You should try to show your friend their value in your life. The more valued a friend feels, the stronger and more long-lasting a relationship will be.
Listen to them
People want to be listened to. Listen to them while they talk and do not interrupt them, in this way they feel that they are important for us.
Good Communication Skills
Good communication skills are a strong way to keep and make new friends. If you do not have these qualities, below are some tips.
Tips for Good Communication Skills
1. If someone is talking to you, maintain good eye contact.
2. You have to become a good listener and give them a chance to share their ideas with you.
3. Your body language always influences people – unfold your arms, nod your head and vary facial expressions to look interested.
To conclude, according to scientific researches, humans are social animals and without having these contacts, we cannot live a healthy life. It is not a matter of what stage of life you are at, start making new friends and leave all toxic relationships that make you mentally unhealthy and lead to physical diseases. Start by improving your social health and live a happy healthy life.
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