Social Connections- Mental Health Awareness Month

Social interactions are a normal part of everyone’s lifestyle. Whether you are at home, in the office, or running errands, we are inclined to connect with other humans. While you may not realize it right away, those connections you make can affect your mental and physical health. Feeling socially connected, especially in a time where we have been isolated is extremely important. To wrap up Mental Health Awareness Month, this Wellness Wednesday post discusses how the benefits of being socially connected to one another can improve your quality of life.  

Studies have shown that people who socially interact with each other are less likely to have feelings of anxiety and depression. Friendships can provide many mental health benefits such as emotional support, increased happiness, and a sense of purpose in their life. Strong social connections have proven to strengthened immune systems which creates a healthier emotional and physical well-being.  

On the other hand, studies have shown that those who are lacking connection are found to have health issues such as obesity, and high blood pressure as a result of loneliness and isolation from others. To reduce these feelings, make efforts to be vulnerable with family, friends, or coworkers (it won’t happen overnight). Opening up can build a stronger relationship between one another and remind us that we are all under stress and not alone.  

Having social connections can look different for everyone. Whether you have a heart-to-heart with your spouse, laughs from a comedy show with a friend or assisting a co-worker with a project, that connection is growing stronger. Any time spent with others is irreplaceable and can create unforgettable moments. Take the first step and make time to check on your family and friends, they might be feeling the same way you are.  

Here are 4 new ways to connect with others.  

  1. Make an effort to call, text, or email three people a day. It could be someone close, someone from work, or an old friend. The point is to remain comfortable with yourself and allow yourself to improve your current relationships. 
  2. Join an online support group. Interacting with others online is another way to meet new people. You can join various clubs that you are currently interested in or a hobby you have looking to get into.  
  3. Join a volunteer program. Call your local food bank, animal shelter, or Red Cross and join a program in your community.  
  4. Sign up for a class. Whether it’s online or in-person, you can sign up for a painting class, cooking course, or floral arrangements.