We keep ignoring the “social” component when we talk about health. Read this great article to find out how important social health is and how you can be socially healthy.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health in beautiful words, “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.
It is beautiful and complete because it does not dismiss good health by saying it is the absence of illness. Your health, according to WHO, also refers to the quality of your life. If we were to divide health into components, I would suggest physical, mental, and social to be its parts.
We pay attention to how we feel physically and we also attach mental health its due importance, but do we give the social counterpart the consideration it deserves? I do not think we do.
What Is Social Health?
The ability to form interpersonal relationships that are satisfying, and define the state of your social health or social wellbeing. Examples are spousal, work-related, and acquaintance-based relationships. Another factor that counts when it comes to social wellbeing is how comfortably you adapt to social situations and the appropriateness of your reaction in such settings.
How Important Is Your Social Health?
Man is a social creature and most of us require interactions and need to belong, if we want to live healthy lives. When we interact with others, we begin to care for them and start believing that they care for us. Stamped on our genetic blueprint, social wellness is thus essential for optimum health.
Instead of talking about how the absence of social wellbeing can have negative effects on your life, let us talk about how it can affect your life positively.
This study showed that a woman’s social wellbeing factored in her survival from cancer. While this one showed that, it had beneficial effects on the endocrine, cardiovascular, and immune systems. It acted as a “stress-buffer”. Isolation and loneliness are gateways to drug abuse and illness, even death. Use #leelahalcorn to find out more.
How Can You Improve Your Social Health?
Here are six easy ways you can use to improve your social wellbeing:
1. Give yourself a break and try some recreation
You need one. After working all week, take a breather. The sooner you recognize the need for recreation, the better. Accept invitations, instead of shutting yourself away. Go to an art exhibit or a concert, whatever interests you.
2. Be a better listener
All good relationships need participants to listen to each other. If you listen to others’ needs, your own needs will be met.
3. Friends are good but family is better
Plan an outing with your family. Spending time with family has its own charms.The best part is while your friends may leave, family is obliged to love you!
4. More is better
Being a part of a community or a group is a feeling that needs to be experienced. Join a book club, a stamp collectors’ group or a band.
Alternatively, become a member of a volunteer program in your community. When you spend time with different people, you have better chances of making new friends while strengthening your old friendships.
5. Social does not only mean the internet
Turn off your computer and spend time with real people for a while. Meeting a friend from your school days? Turn off your phone, so you can reminisce and connect without being disturbed.
Social media has now become a part of the workplace; businesses use it to advertise and whatnot. However, do not disregard the power of conversations that face to face ones have.
6. Just One Step
Taking care of your social health is as important as your physical health. It promotes longevity and wellbeing. You might be an extrovert, daring enough to jump off cliffs and make friends right off the bat. On the other hand, you could be an introvert who is usually the shyest person at gatherings.
It does not change anything. I am not asking you to step outside your comfort zone and never look back. For now, just make a promise to yourself to try out something new this week. It could even be a lunch with friends but make sure you experience something new.
Weigh in next week with the new thing you decided to try out. I cannot wait to see what you come up with!