Humans are inherently social creatures. Dating back to we can trace, humans have traveled, hunted, and thrived in social groups and for good reason. Humans who had been separated using their tribe often suffered severe consequences. Social groups provide us with an important part in our identity, and even more than that, they teach us a set of skills that help us to reside in our lives. Feeling socially connected, especially in an increasingly isolated world, is more important than ever before. The benefits of social connectedness shouldn’t be overlooked.
Improve yourself: If you’ve ever moved from your social “home base” then you have an idea of the amount of social connections condition your everyday life and well-being. One study showed that social connection is a larger determinant to health than obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure. And social connection doesn’t necessarily mean physically being present with people in a literal sense, but someone’s subjective connection with feeling understood and linked to others. One scale that experts use to determine a person’s subjective degree of loneliness is the UCLA Loneliness Scale.
Increase your mental health: Friendships provide a amount of mental health advantages, such as increased feelings of belonging, purpose, increased levels of happiness, reduced degrees of stress, improved self-worth and confidence. A report conducted at a free health clinic in Buffalo, New York discovered that respondents with insufficient perceived social support were the most likely to have problems with mental health disorders like anxiety and depression.
Help you live longer: Research has shown that social connections not only impact your mental health, but your physical health as well. An assessment of 148 studies (308,849 participants) indicated that the people with more powerful social relationships had a 50% increased probability of survival. This remained true across a number of factors, including age, sex, initial health status, and reason behind death.
Decrease your risk of suicide: There are a number of factors that put people at higher or lower risk for suicide. Among these factors is connectedness, which the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines as “The amount to which a person or group is socially close, interrelated or shares resources with other people or groups.” Relationships can play an essential role in protecting a person against suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
If you’re uncertain how to commence forming social connections start by looking inward. What are your interests or hobbies? The type of personalities are you naturally comfortable around? Devote period to becoming active in your community, volunteering, or joining a club or social organization in case you meet a potential friend, create an possibility to hang out together. Remember that social connections that impact your current health insurance and well-being may get started with lattes or a shared meal, nonetheless they require commitment. Forming strong, healthy relationships with others means checking, actively listening, and being available to sharing what you’re going through. These relationships can transform the course of your life.