Social Wellness

Updated 10/27/2011

Social wellness is having positive interactions with and enjoying being with others. It is having comfort and ease during work and leisure situations and communicating feelings and needs to others. It involves developing and building close friendships and intimacy, practicing empathy and effective listening, caring for others and for the common good, and allowing others to care for you. It is recognizing the need for leisure and recreation and budgeting time for those activities.

Social Wellness Facts and Tips

  • Socially isolated people are more susceptible to illness and have a death rate two to three times higher than those who are not socially isolated.
  • People who maintain their social network and support systems do better under stress.
  • Approximately 20 percent of Americans feel lonely and isolated during their free time.
  • Touching, stroking, and hugging can improve health.
  • Laughter really is good medicine.
  • Cholesterol levels go up when human companionship is lacking.
  • Warm, close friendships cause higher levels of immunoglobulin A (an antibody that helps keep away respiratory infections and cavities).
  • A strong social network can create a good mood and enhance self-esteem.

So how can I improve my social wellness?

  • Practice self disclosure
  • Get to know your personal needs and pursue things and people who nurture those needs
  • Contact and make a specific effort to talk to the people who are supportive in your life
  • Attend a Wellness Forum
  • Join a club or organization that interests you

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