Connectivity and Your Health
When talking about health most of us know the basics. Eat healthy, drink lots of water, exercise and get the appropriate amount of sleep every night. What many people fail to realize is social health is important to your overall health too. You read that right. Hanging out with your friends and family is necessary and good for your overall health (provided they are healthy relationships of course).
Keeping your social health in tip-top shape is an important key to improving your physical, mental and emotional health as well. Studies have shown that a lack of social connection is actually more detrimental to your health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure. On the more positive end of the spectrum, a good social circle can up your longevity by 50%, strengthen your immune system, and help you recover from sickness faster. Who doesn’t want that?
Additionally, people who feel connected with others tend to have lower levels of anxiety and depression. They also register higher self-esteem, greater empathy and more trusting and cooperative relationships. Put in simpler terms, when you have good social connections in your life it generates positive feedback which in turn loops back to you.
If you happen to be concerned about your social connectedness, there is some good news. It’s not about how many people are in your circle, but the quality of those relationships no matter how few or many they are. As long as you feel safe and at ease the likelihood of you feeling satisfied in this department is high.
If you are looking to up your feelings of connectedness there are a few things for you to keep in mind.
1. Consider volunteering in some way. Whether you give, share, or support, acts of kindness not only make you feel better but make others around you feel better too. Which in turn makes you feel even better. Research shows volunteering creates a sense of connection because you are giving yourself a sense of purpose.
2. Take care of yourself. When you are stressed, you think more about yourself and when you think about yourself you are likely to forget about everyone around you, thus losing your sense of connectivity. The adage is true, you can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself first. When you are happy within it radiates out and people naturally want to connect with you.
3. Know when to ask for help. If you don’t ask, you shall not receive. The people in your circle are most likely willing to give you whatever you need but if you don’t ask for it the most likely won’t know. Showing vulnerability by asking for help is a great way to strengthen bonds and feel more connected to those you love most.