There are many different aspects of well-being that we are encouraged to focus on – mental health, physical health, and emotional health, just to name a few. One that is often overlooked is social health. It is just as important to prioritize your relationships with others, and nurture them so that they are sources of strength and positivity in your life. By improving your social health, you can also improve other areas of well-being.
Having good friends can increase your sense of belonging and purpose – you have someone to share good news with, and someone who can support you when times are tough. Improving your social health can also increase your overall mood and happiness. Research has shown that adults with good social support have a reduced risk of many health problems, such as depression and high blood pressure. This is especially true for older adults – the stronger their social life, the longer their life expectancy becomes.
Make time to spend time with those that are close to you, and nurture those relationships. Be honest and open with your friends, and treat them how you would like to be treated. Take an interest in their lives as well – you’ll get as much as you give from these relationships. There’s no such thing as a “healthy number of friends”, the quality of the company you keep matters more than the quantity. It’s never too late to make new friendships or work on old ones. Check out some ways you can meet new people below!
Trying to meet new people? Here are some suggestions:
- Take up a new hobby. Trying something new allows you to get involved with other people that also have similar interests. Join a club or class and strike up conversation with some of the other participants!
- Volunteer. Visit a local soup kitchen, hospital, charity or any other organization that you have an interest in, and meet some other volunteers. Sharing a purpose can form strong bonds between people!
- Attend community social events. Look for events in your local paper, online, or on community bulletin boards. Things like trivia nights, charity walks, or game nights can be a great way to meet new people!
Sources: MayoClinic, WebMD. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.