A lot of people will assume they have good social health because they spend their days being social and surrounded by other people, but social health is not only dependant on the volume of social interactions, but by the quality of your social interactions and the health of your relationships.
The subject of social wellness gets even more complex when you take into account how we all need different levels and types of social interaction. Most people have heard of introverts and extroverts, but did you know there can also be introverted extroverts and extroverted introverts; and it can continue to get more deep, and intricate.
Although complex learning to understand how our own social wellness works, and what we need, and how much we need to fill up our social bucket is worth while. It can make life feel less overwhelming, help us feel supported, and also break down some social stigmas about how we should function within relationships.
As with all forms of wellness social wellbeing it is a building block in a system made to work together. When one is weak all the others are effected. Lets break it down:
Emotional Wellness: Feeling emotionally supported by our family, friends and peers for the majority of people is vital for their emotional wellbeing. We all have moments in our life which can feel challenging, through the varied sources of stress that are thrown at us through-out life; feeling isolated on top of other life stresses can be a scary and daunting place to be. Ofcourse feelings of loneliness and isolation can stem from not having enough social contact, but it can also stem from poor quality, not the right type for your personality or toxic social contact. On the flip side poor emotional wellness can make us want to retreat from social contact, push away those who do support us, or act inappropriately towards them.
Occupational Wellness: Good social health within your occupation means maintaining a healthy relationship with colleagues, and even maintaining good boundaries with colleagues if you are someone who feels the need to compartmentalise those aspects of your life.
Physical Wellness: Healthy relationships will encourage you to take care of your physical health, they will give you emotional support and even physical support through helping with meal prep or respecting new dietary needs, being company when going to fitness classes, or partaking in sports with you, reminding you to rest, or providing support when you feel like you have hit a wall in your progress. Social interactions can be a big driving force when it comes to maintaining physical activity, with developing friendships within a team sports, gym classes, or walking groups can be a great way to keep motivation to stay active. Social pressures can also be the downfall in our physical wellness goals, from friends and family not respecting our dietary needs and pressuring us to eat or drink foods that don’t suit our bodies; I think most people can relate to this at least with being pressured to drink alcohol when they have made the decision to abstain. Poor physical health can also lead towards us making reasons to avoid social interactions. Feeling low on energy from a poor diet, not feeling fit enough to take part in an activity, or dealing with chronic pain or sickness can make us want to isolate and avoid social situations.
Intellectual Wellness: As part of our intellectual wellness it is important for us to have social interactions with people who stimulate us intellectually; people we can learn from or who motivate us to learn more. Intellectual pursuits can also provide great opportunities for developing quality social relationships by helping you meet people with similar interests.
Spiritual Wellness: Having people in our lives that share our spiritual and/or moral outlook can help us feel reassured by our perspective on the world and part of a greater community. They can help drive us to seek out and work towards our greater purpose making spiritual wellness more prominent in our lives. Seeking spiritual social connections that are also not truly inline with our spiritual or moral outlook but are somewhat guised as being connected to them can lead us down a windy path where we loose sight. For example being involved in a religious community which does not practice what they preach or being involved in a political movement that is campaigning and again violence but riots. Being regularly social with people who have lost sight of a cause that is important to you can be toxic; not that everyone needs to have the same outlook of the world as you, but it is important to have a someone you can turn to socially who can help motivate your spiritual wellness journey.
Also remember it can be easy to judge that someone else isn’t aligned with our own outlook on the world, but we are all on our own journeys, with their own destinations.
Please be aware all information in this blog is based on my own personal experience and research, and I am not a medical professional. If you are needing advice about a medical condition, please seek advice from a medical professional.
This blog follows my personal research and learning into health and wellbeing, as well as my own personal comments on the subject matters. All blog posts contain my own personal opinions and does not reflect the opinions of any organisations I may be affiliated with. Any information I provide on my blogs is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge but there may be omissions, errors or mistakes that I am unaware of. All information presented on this blog is for informational purposes only and shouldn’t been seen as advice. I reserve the right to change how I manage or run my blog and may change the focus or content on my blog at any time
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