Quick Tips for Social Wellness
123 Feel Better
Social Wellness is one of the 7 Aspects of Wellness, primary life areas that work together to build a whole and complete lifestyle. When we hear the term “Social Wellness,” we might think of getting together with friends and having a good time. Of course, this is part of our Social Wellness, but it isn’t the whole picture. Comprehensive Social Wellness involves learning to communicate openly, directly and honestly, creating more intimacy in our relationships and understanding how to create and maintain healthy boundaries while still being involved in the lives of others.
Everyone has different Social Wellness issues that they need to address. One person may suffer from social anxiety. Another person may have trouble setting boundaries and become too involved in the lives of their friends and loved ones. We might have difficulty expressing our emotions, even to our closest companions. We may have anger issues that create rifts in our relationships, even when we don’t want them to. All of these things are Social Wellness concerns, and learning to balance our relationships is the overall goal.
We all need relationships. People are social animals, and it’s vital that we have systems of support, love and friendship to rely on. Building healthy, reliable and supportive social networks is essentially what Social Wellness is about. We can do small things each and every day to strengthen our relationships and get along better with others.
Here are a few things anyone can do to get started building a healthier foundation of Social Wellness:
-Pass out compliments. Giving each of the people we run into each day a genuine compliment can really brighten their day—and ours. The keyword here is genuine; people will know when you aren’t being truthful.
This generates double the benefits. The people we compliment will feel much more open around us. They will feel noticed, special, and supported. A simple, “Thank you for being there for me today,” or, “Where did you get those shoes? I love them!” will work. Being sincere is important, but with just a little practice we can find something positive to acknowledge with just about anyone we meet. That’s the other benefit in looking for something to compliment. It helps us to continually focus on the positive, even when we’re not in the mood.
-Get an email buddy. Many of us are stuck at our desks all day, but this doesn’t necessarily keep us from getting bored or lonely or stewing about our problems. If we have a close friend who sitting at a desk somewhere as well, we can send each other encouraging messages throughout the day. We can also ask for their advice and encouragement. These messages can range from a quick hello to, “Oh, I’m in such a funk over this thing that happened last night! Any advice?” Keeping in touch with someone throughout our busy days will help foster a sense of connection anytime, anywhere. Having an ally like this will often help us keep our focus on our work and off of our problems and stress. It’s also a great way to remind a close friend that we care, and to practice allowing others to care for us as well.
-Get involved. Sometimes it may seem almost impossible to meet new people and expand our social network. The best way to meet new people? Sign up for a group activity. There are sports clubs, art gatherings, book clubs, crafting groups and various other social events centered on specific interests in virtually every town and city. The best part about meeting people this way is that we meet others with interests similar to our own, which makes forming a connection even easier and more fun. We’ve already got something in common to share about!
-Look for similarities rather than differences. When we meet someone new, it can be easy to focus on all the ways that they’re different from us. We may even feel the urge to silently nitpick what we perceive as their “flaws.” If we look for the similarities instead, we’ll be amazed at how much more easily a connection forms. We can learn something new from each and every person that we meet, no matter how small the lesson may seem. If we focus on all the reasons we might not like other people, we miss out on the gifts.
-Make regular dates. When we make the effort to schedule regular quality time with friends and loved ones, we let them know that we care about the relationship. Having standing dates with friends is a great way to ensure that we will see the people we love often and be able to keep up with their lives. Time together is one of the most important elements of successful, fulfilling relationships, so make a date and stick to the plan.
These suggestions are some of the easiest ways to keep our Social Wellness in shape and create even healthier, more positive relationships. They may seem extremely simple, but taking just a few or even all of these steps will help our relationships grow to greater intimacy and remain strong through thick and thin.
Date: September 8th, 2011
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