The social wellness aspect is the 4th installment of the Personal Wellness Series.
The aspect of Social Wellness as it applies to Personal Wellness is a subject that we rarely give much thought to. We move within our circles of comfort every day. However, is that enough?
Where we born to maintain a small, otherwise non-existent, relationship circle.
It is in our DNA to interact with others. Our social natures dictate that we maintain relationships that we can love, share, and empathize with.
As we interact with others, we tend to stay where we are comfortable. Venturing outside of our comfort zones cause discomfort. Really?
Yes, being sociable is a skill that must be honed to perfection if we expect to entertain the masses. Therefore, our goals should include developing social skills to a point where we can reach beyond our comfort level.
Although we deal with people every day, we tend to limit the interactions based on who the person is; why communication is necessary; and our mood at the time.
It is amazing to improve this skill set and expand our horizons.
What Is Social Wellness
What is Social Wellness? OPI describes social wellness as, “Social wellness involves openly communicating needs, feelings, thoughts and desires to those we trust, and actively listening with empathy when they share with us.”
Sounds as if it is the emotional side of being sociable.
It is also believed by sociologists that social wellness is closely related to our mental and physical health. In addition, researchers have also linked the following health issues 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
Here is a prime example, our lives are now dictated by our digital world of social media and places us in a form of isolation.
The importance of physically interacting with people have been oftentimes reduced to clicks on a keyboard. You cannot experience (see, touch, or feel the emotions) the person on the other end to which we are communicating.
There is no personable connection to gauge truth, sincerity, or intent of the person on the other end of the conversation.
Yes, we lose a great deal by not interacting in person with others on a more open level. At this rate, texting someone instantly is no different from handwriting a letter which took 3 days to deliver.
We need physical connections to truly understand the weight or importance of a conversation.
Social Interpersonal Wellness
Social interpersonal wellness involves our daily interactions with people. Note that the words social and interpersonal are often interchangeable when used singularly.
Social wellness is often achieved when we are actively participating in our environment to the best of our abilities.
Having the courage and confidence to display all we stand for is also a form of social wellness.
Building positive relationships through active participation is a factor of social wellness. In addition, maintaining an intimate connection to our community and society improves our social wellness.
Moreover, the ability to communicate clearly helps us manage our time and our lives, to feel good about ourselves, and to build trustworthy relationships with others.
“Social relationships—both quantity and quality—affect mental health, health behavior, physical health, and mortality risk. Studies show that social relationships have short- and long-term effects on health, for better and for worse, and that these effects emerge in childhood and cascade throughout life to foster cumulative advantage or disadvantage in health.”
Debra Umberson and Jennifer Karas Montez, The Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Social wellness has an importance as we apply it to our lives. We can find the benefits out weigh the hazards of doing nothing.
One of our key elements to personal wellness is how we build relationships.
Identifying The Challenges We Face
Early in my law enforcement career, I received training on interpersonal relationships to help develop skills to deal with the public. Unfortunately, I did not think to apply those techniques to my personal life.
I cannot say that I was an angry person, but I was not very approachable. Nonetheless, as I look back now, I was deliberately maintaining an unhealthy social lifestyle.
Low self-esteem and that ‘bulldog’ face from the Marines were factors of my social drawbacks. Additionally, not feeling as though I fit in further blocked my ability to open up and establish connections.
We often fail to realize how narrow the path to social wellness can be. Many of our little quirks can cause unnecessary blocks.
Consequently, relationships and interpersonal skills are not an easy task and is often challenging for many of us.
All in all, the study of social wellness is in its early stage; therefore, conclusions by governing authorities are not in sync.
Improving Through Goals and Activities
We can improve our social wellness through setting goals and following some types of activities. Our social interactions helps us live longer and mange stress.
Nonetheless, building strong healthy relationships is a major part of our social wellness. Moreover, at any age we can learn ways to improve your wellness.
There are several strategies we can embrace to improve our social wellness. We can join a group focused on a favorite hobby, such as cycling, hiking, car clubs, or Wealthy Affiliate (WA).
Get organized by using things-to-do lists and keeping active in our hobbies and interests. In addition, according to the National Institutes of Health the following help build strong relationships:
- Share your feelings honestly.
- Ask for what you need from others.
- Listen to others without judgment or blame. Be caring and empathetic.
- Disagree with others respectfully. Conflicts should not turn into personal attacks.
- Avoid being overly critical, angry outbursts, and violent behavior.
- Expect others to treat you with respect and honesty in return.
- Compromise. Try to come to agreements that work for everyone.
- Protect yourself from violent and abusive people. Set boundaries with others. Decide what you are and aren’t willing to do. It’s okay to say no.
- Learn the differences between healthy, unhealthy, and abusive ways of relating to others.
Because of the evaluation in social wellness, we can perhaps expand the above list to be more inclusive at specific levels and in relationships.
I am quoting from a couple of articles I read, but they said “we are social creatures, and relationships are essential to
maintaining wellness and health.
We need what we need!
It may not have been obvious to you, but I threw in a plug for my group, Wealthy Affiliate (WA).
While we are not a socialite group, the WA community is a robust environment of heart, emotions, and friendship. We are more like artists, but with blogs. If you want to, you can join the group and be my friend.
Yeah, we are a bunch of content creators!
The more proactive at building relationships we become, the healthier our social wellness will turn out.
Summing Up Social Wellness
Bettering ourselves is not a complicated process. It is whether we have the will or not to take that first step. Actually taking the time to read this article, means we have taken the first.
But do not break your elbow patting yourself on the back. The road can be long for some and shorter for others.
Today, we started by identifying social wellness. We discussed the emotional side of being sociable. Communicating emotions, being empathetic, and open are but a few actions of social wellness.
Improving interpersonal skills is a major factor in gaining social wellness. We commonly limit our interactions with people, but now is the opportunity to change things for the better.
Challenges may very well accompany us on this journey. “Anything too easy is not worth having,” unknown author. Simple things can be barriers if we continue to let them.
We can improve our social wellness through goal setting and activities. Scientists have already linked social wellness to health. There exists the ability to be better, if we choose.
If we keep our minds right, we can keep our bodies tight!
And I close out by saying, we need what we need!
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If you have not done so already, please read the previous topics to benefit from the information. Feel free to reach out in the space below. I welcome the opportunity to have a discussion with you.
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To your success and growth,
Founder of Good Time To Shine