Benefits of Social Wellness
Social support enhances quality of life and provides a buffer against adverse life events.
When you give and receive social support on a daily basis, you ensure that you’ll have friends and family to turn to in times of need or crisis to give you a broader focus and positive self-image.
One of the earliest studies on the physical and psychological health benefits of social support was in 1905. Dr. Joseph Pratt, an internist from Boston, gathered a group of tuberculosis patients together to educate them about hygiene in relation to their illness. This “support group” provided early evidence of the power of psychological support in physical health and healing.
Why is Social Wellness Important?
Healthy relationships are a vital component of health.
According to the University of Minnesota, the health risks from being alone or isolated in one’s life are comparable to the risks associated with cigarette smoking, high blood pressure and obesity.
Research shows that:
- People who have a strong social network tend to live longer.
- The heart and blood pressure of people with healthy relationships respond better to stress.
- Strong social networks are associated with a healthier endocrine system and healthier cardiovascular functioning.
- Healthy social networks enhance the immune system’s ability to fight off infectious diseases.
How to Grow Your Social Network
Are you looking for ways to grow your social network? Consider these ideas on your path to strong social wellness:
Work out. Joining a gym or an exercise group allows you to meet new people while exercising. Try one of our Wellness & Healthy Living classes!
Take a walk. Starting a walking routine after dinner would not only give you another opportunity to be physically active, but it would also create more opportunities for you to meet your neighbors.
Volunteer. Donate some of your time and hard work to a charity that is meaningful to you. You’ll feel good about the cause, and you’ll meet others with similar passions.¬
Find others who share a hobby, such as hiking, painting, scrapbooking or running. Consider your interests and pursue them – you’re bound to find others with similar passions.