Welcome to our third blog in our series exploring the six dimensions of wellness. Being ‘healthy’ isn’t just being illness or disease-free; good health encompasses our physical, mental and social wellbeing. Practising positive habits every day will help us to achieve optimum health and wellness.
What is social wellness?
The social dimension of wellness is how we connect with others and the part we play in our local community – the relationships we have and how we interact with others. Positive and satisfying relationships are fundamental to our physical and emotional health.
We are living through a time where non-face-to-face interactions have grown substantially. We spend more time interacting with people digitally and as a consequence, we are becoming more isolated. Social connections and interactions affect our brain health and numerous studies have shown the better our relationships, the longer and happier our lives are.
Feeling part of something bigger than we are is also important to our social wellness. Being ‘socially well’ means playing an active part in the world around you, actively making this world a better place by caring for the environment, enabling important relationships and friendships to flourish.
It also means believing that contributing to the common good – our community – is better than thinking only of ourselves, and that it is better to live in harmony with others and nature.
Social wellness involves developing positive interpersonal skills, growing a strong support network and playing an active role in your community.
What can you do to develop your ‘social wellness’?
- Talk to friends and family regularly – make an effort to keep in touch and check in on those in your support network. Be there when they need you and they will be there for you when you need them.
- Get involved in school, work or other community activities – being part of a community unites us, it makes us feel as though we are part of something greater than ourselves. It gives us an opportunity to connect with people, to work towards a goal and it makes us feel safe and secure.
- Learn about the social issues in your community – understand the challenges your community faces and ask yourself what you can do to help.
- Deal with conflict respectfully – as we have discussed in previous blogs, conflict isn’t always a bad thing; the world would be a less exciting or interesting place if we all agreed all the time. However, how we respond to conflict is the crucial point. Nurturing your communication skills, practising active listening and looking at our body language can all help to manage conflict positively.
Find out more about the six dimensions of wellness at the National Wellness Institute