Meek Integrative Health Center - Lifestyle Social Connections
Social connections and relationships affect our physical, mental and emotional health. Research shows that the single most important predictor of human happiness and long life is having strong social connections. Health-related measures like blood pressure and heart rate improve even with short positive social interactions. Below are some tips that may help you create and keep important connections in your life.
Forming New Social Connections
- Volunteer; helping others improves health, increases happiness and allows you to meet new people
- Connect with a community resource center to find local options
- Find online or community groups of those who share the same interests-meetup.com and Facebook groups are a great place to look
- Join a religious or spiritual group
- Help at a local animal shelter or adopt a pet to connect with other animal lovers
- Go to a local sports event, music performance, lecture or art display
- Help organize community events by joining or steering committee or board
- Attend community celebrations like parades and walks
- Take a course at your local library or community college
- Ask your employer for ways to increase social connections at work
TIP: Look for social opportunities that improve other areas of health such as activity groups or healthy cooking classes
Strengthen Social Connections
- Take more care to quickly connect with people you see a lot during the week
- When possible, stay positive while connecting with others
- Share new experiences
- Make and spend time with others
- Be there for those who need you
- Be flexible, supportive and excited about what others are doing in their lives
Note: Social Media and Depression-While technology can improve social connectedness in some cases, research finds that those who use social media the most are at a higher risk for depression. Be mindful of how you use technology to support social connections in your life.
Social Connections Goals
Setting goals is a great way to increase your sense of connection. It's often easier to achieve positive goals. An example of a positive social connection goal is "I will increase my feeling of social connectedness by joining a group fitness class that meets for an hour, three nights a week."
Specific-What are you going to do to improve feelings of connectedness?
Measurable-How much time, how many sessions?
Attainable-Do you have what it takes to follow through?
Realistic-What can you actually do? (improvement over perfection)
Time-How often or for how long will you make this change?
Achieving Your Best Located in Springfield MO
American College of Lifestyle Medicine
Reach out to our friendly team and begin your journey to better health with Meek Integrative Health Center!