First, it’s important to understand what is social wellness. Then it’s important to understand how to improve social wellness to help maintain a happy, well-balanced life.
Social wellness refers to the relationships you have with people in your life — family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues — and how you interact with them. Positive social interaction is vital to your overall wellness.
People who have positive, genuine social connections with those around them tend to live longer, deal with stress better, and even have fewer physical ailments.
Some social wellness examples include:
- Demonstrating assertive, confident behaviors rather than passive or aggressive behaviors.
- Balancing social and personal time effectively to meet your needs.
- The ability to be authentically YOU in all social situations.
- Engaging with other people in your community through a variety of sources.
- Valuing diversity and treating self and others with respect.
- Creating and maintaining appropriate boundaries.
- Communicating effectively through speaking, listening, and body language.
Let’s take a look at 9 awesome tips for how to improve your social wellness so you can gain the benefits of social wellness and continue on your journey to becoming your BEST self!
How to Improve Social Wellness: 9 Awesome Tips
These 9 tips will help you improve your social wellness and maintain a well-balanced life, but they will also overlap with characteristics of emotional wellness, spiritual wellness, intellectual wellness, family and community life, and so much more! You are on your way to a more beautiful and perfect life than ever before!
1. Learn to Give and Receive Compliments
It can be easy to neglect giving compliments and even harder to receive them sometimes. We live very busy lives today and often forget the simple courtesies and kindnesses that can make a difference to others. Plus, it can be easy to negate a compliment given to us.
Compliments should come from a genuine place of kindness. They should be a reflection of your admiration or appreciation. People will see through a compliment that is not genuine. But if you are intentional about your social wellness, and have a mindset of positivity, you’ll always be able to find a genuine compliment to offer to someone.
When it comes to complimenting others, many people are not sure how to do so in an appropriate way. In order to learn how to give and receive compliments effectively, it is important to understand the psychology behind them. Compliments are a form of genuine social exchange.
It can really be quite simple. You can offer a compliment when you make small talk with a stranger or when you congratulate a colleague on an accomplishment. But be authentic with your words and thoughts.
And accept compliments that are offered to you. Truly listen to what is said and appreciate that the person has taken time to offer you words of kindness.
How many times has someone said to you, “Your hair looks beautiful today!” And you respond, “Oh, I couldn’t do anything with it this morning!” Think about it. Sometimes we need to learn the act of accepting a compliment. That’s part of social wellness!
2. Respect and Love Yourself
Many people spend their lives in pursuit of love and validation from others, but neglect themselves. The result is an unhealthy inner dialogue full of self-doubt and criticism. And sadly, you will be unable to develop social wellness if you are having a negative inner dialogue with yourself!
The key to happiness lies in self-love, self-respect, and self-acceptance, which has been found to increase resilience, optimism, and personal well-being. All of which are directly connected to social wellness.
You can always control how you feel about yourself. It’s a matter of optimism and mindset. If you focus on your wonderful, unique, and special qualities, you will learn to love and respect yourself.
In fact, you need to learn to focus on these qualities in order to develop self-confidence. Remember, you are unique and special in many ways — and should have love and respect for the gift of YOU!
3. Master the Art of Conflict Resolution
Conflict is a natural part of life that can be very stressful, but it’s also an opportunity to dive deep into the reasons for the conflict and learn the art of conflict resolution.
Learning to have productive exchanges with people who have different opinions provides many benefits. It helps you grow as a person and learn to see others’ perspectives. It also teaches you to respond to a conflict or stressful situation, rather than react.
Conflict is a natural part of life. It is unavoidable, and it should be embraced. The key to mastering the art of conflict resolution is to know how to deal with disagreements respectfully, without letting emotions get in the way.
When a conflict occurs in any setting, the best thing to do is to work towards a resolution. Communicate honestly rather than shut down or complain to others. Talk to the person with whom you are having the conflict. Identify the issue that needs to be resolved. Take time to fully understand both sides of the conflict. Discuss possible solutions and learn to compromise. Or, simply end the conflict on good terms and agree to disagree.
A difference of opinion never needs to be a reason for stress, anxiety, or anger if you are able to keep emotions out of the situation.
4. Nurture Your Friendships
Often times we take friendships for granted. Then one day, a valued friendship is gone or changed forever.
Nurture your friendships by giving your friends the time and attention they deserve. Maintaining friendships is not always easy when life gets busy. But we need to prioritize our friendships — don’t ignore your friends just because you’re busy!
Friendships are important because they offer us an emotional support system, help us grow as individuals, and give us someone to share our lives with.
Friends are the people who push us to do and be better for ourselves; they laugh at our ridiculous jokes; and they pick us up when we’re down.
Genuine friendships are the foundation for your social wellness. Take care of those special friendships.
5. Engage in Hobbies and Volunteer Activities
Engaging in hobbies and volunteer activities help you find a better work/life balance and reduce stress. These opportunities give your brain a chance to relax and open doors to meet new people and have new experiences. They also contribute to your social wellness.
Join a recreational sports team, take a paint or gardening class, take an exercise class, or join a hiking club – whatever hobby you choose, make sure it brings you joy and makes you SMILE. These activities help to deepen your social skills and wellness.
Volunteering in your community puts you in contact with people who have common interests as you, and thus opens doors to new friendships and opportunities for social connections, too. It also helps you learn to communicate effectively with people from a variety of backgrounds, listen to others’ perspectives, engage in problem solving, and serve your community.
Related Article: Why is Community Engagement Important?
6. Learn and Practice Effective Communication Skills
There are so many ways to communicate that I could hardly put them into one website article. There is verbal communication, non-verbal communication, body language, written communication, sign language, listening skills, visual communication, and so many more.
Did you ever think of listening skills as a form of communication? Yes, listening is an essential form of communication. Many people are so busy thinking about what they are going to say next that they don’t listen to what others are saying. That behavior causes a serious breakdown in communication.
Communication is not simply a one way exchange of information where you share your message with another and go on your way! It’s the mutual sharing of information by transferring it from one person to another. This requires listening.
Effective communication skills are an essential component of social wellness. And you cannot possibly have effective communication skills if you do not learn to listen to others CAREFULLY and respect what they have to say.
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7. Practice Self-Care
Self-care is a major topic of conversation and articles today because of the ongoing pandemic. We all had to learn to practice self-care during difficult times.
But practicing self-care is also important for social wellness. You want to feel your best, and look your best, while engaged in social activities and getting to know people. You want to display confidence and strength of character to the people around you. You can do these things better if you are practicing proper self-care.
Getting proper sleep and eating a nutritional diet helps you feel good and be able to think well. Proper hygiene gives your confidence.
Self care is an empowering practice that gives you the confidence to demonstrate top-notch social skills. Plus, simple acts of self-care puts you in state of mind where you enjoy being with yourself, so you will enjoy being with others even more!
8. Surround Yourself with Positive, Giving People
It’s a scientific fact that being around people you love and who encourage your passions leads you to be a happier, healthier YOU. If you’re not surrounded by positive people, it can have a negative impact on your social wellness.
No matter where you are in your life, it is important to surround yourself with positive, giving people. It’s not always easy though. Learning how to be selective about the people you spend time with is an integral part of life, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. The first step is learning how to identify toxic people and what they want from you. Then you need to eliminate those people from your life.
Life is better when you are among people who share a positive mindset and values similar to yours. In fact, research has found that people with strong, positive social networks are happier and healthier than those who struggle with relationships and social wellness.
In the workplace, you should limit your interactions with people who are toxic. They will drain your energy without you even realizing it. Often times, they will try to manipulate you to be friends so be cautious. That kind of friendship is not aligned with social wellness.
9. Laugh More
Did you know people who laugh more are healthier and happier? It makes sense, right?
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.” In fact, it’s the best medicine for many things.
Humor has many benefits. The psychological and physical benefits of laughter should not be ignored. Laughter is a natural, releasable form of stress relief, and can help to lower blood pressure, increase circulation to the skin and other parts of the body, and strengthen the immune system. The more we laugh, the better our quality of life. This information should encourage more people to laugh more often.
It makes perfect sense that more laughing also improves your social wellness. So be sure to laugh more, my friends! Turn on an old “I Love Lucy” show or “Friends” rerun and forget the world exists for a bit!
Then go out and demonstrate your social wellness!
As a bonus for learning how to improve social wellness, check out this interactive Social Wellness Toolkit from the National Institutes of Health.
Why is Social Wellness Important?
In addition to the social wellness benefits already mentioned here, there are physical benefits, as well. Research shows that 1) people with strong social connections live longer, 2) people with positive social skills respond better to stress, 3) they have better blood pressure responses to stress and anxiety, 4) they have healthier endocrine and cardiovascular systems, and 5) people who demonstrate social wellness have a stronger immune system to fight off disease.
Social wellness is more complex than you might think. It includes how you feel about yourself, how you feel about your relationships with others, and how you feel about the people in your community.
Additionally, with the growing presence of social media in our lives, we must be careful to focus on real life face-to-face social opportunities so we do not develop feelings of isolation and loneliness. These occurrences are reported far more often than one might think.
Overall, social wellness enhances your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. It is one of 12 aspects of a balanced life that supports your happiness and overall wellbeing. But it must be nourished and valued.
Final Thoughts: How to Improve Social Wellness
Cultivating your social wellness requires deep care and attention. It must be done with intention, energy, time, and effort throughout your entire life. It does not just happen naturally; it is so much more complex than just ‘being social.’
You must protect and value your genuine friendships, eliminate toxicity, treasure family, and learn to communicate effectively with all. It’s not always easy while also maintaining boundaries to protect yourself.
I hope you’ve gained some value about how to improve social wellness in this article. It is so very important to your overall wellbeing, peace, and happiness. It’s a constant process in the balance of life and I wish you continued success in developing your social wellness.
What are you going to do to improve your social wellness?
Love to All! ~ Susan