Wellness is a holistic approach to health and involves fueling the body, engaging the mind and nurturing the spirit. This is accomplished through exercise, healthy eating and sleeping habits, and spiritual well-being.
Researchers have found that socialization staves off feelings of loneliness, enhances mental health and boosts longevity. It is also associated with healthier behaviors and greater control over one’s life choices.
1. Better Mental Health
Mental health is about more than simply not having a mental illness. It’s about having the ability to value life and the people in it, while also having the capacity to function in different situations.
Research shows that a high quality of life is associated with social connectedness. This includes a positive feeling about your relationships, involvement in a hobby or community, and the sense of contentment that comes from healthy lifestyle habits, such as a balanced diet, regular exercise and getting enough sleep.
This also means having the ability to bounce back from challenges and have hope for the future. This can help you forge deeper connections with others and build happier, healthier communities. Many existing social policies and programs recognize the importance of social ties and their impact on health behaviors.
2. Stronger Relationships
Wellness involves a proactive approach to healthy choices across eight dimensions of life: mental, physical, spiritual, financial, social, environmental and occupational. The dimensions are interdependent and support one another, so problems in any area can affect the others.
Social Wellness involves building and nurturing meaningful and supportive relationships with people, groups and communities. It also focuses on creating boundaries that encourage communication and trust and showing respect for self, others and other cultures.
Stronger relationships may improve work productivity by fostering morale, a sense of purpose and an ability to collaborate with coworkers. In addition, research has shown that socializing can lower blood pressure and boost immunity, all of which are important aspects of wellness. It may even increase life expectancy! Research on “SuperAgers” reveals that those who have more friends tend to live longer.
3. Reduced Stress
Whether you’re facing a work crisis, financial challenge, or dealing with a major illness, people are there to help you through it. When you’re around friends and family, they provide a calming influence that can alleviate your stress and make you feel better about yourself.
Yet, new research suggests that socializing may not be good for you if it occurs too frequently. In fact, too much socializing may even increase your stress levels.
Experts have organized wellness into several different dimensions, most using at least six, but some use up to 10. Each dimension influences each other. Strive for balance in all dimensions, and be mindful of how each one affects you. Then, use your knowledge of each to improve your daily habits and routines.
4. Better Self-Esteem
The goal of wellness is not just to stay healthy, but to grow as a person and live life fully. Experts have organized personal health into several distinct “dimensions.” This holistic model shows how problems in one area of your life can affect other areas, and how improving in one area can positively impact other dimensions.
Developing positive perspectives and values and proactively taking action are the foundation of wellness. Social wellness includes forming and maintaining supportive relationships with others. It involves showing respect for others and yourself, as well as contributing to your community. It also encompasses emotional health, including coping mechanisms and a willingness to express emotions. Spiritual wellness is a search for meaning and purpose, which can be cultivated through meditation, volunteering and spending time in nature.
5. Better Physical Health
Physical wellness focuses on taking care of your body through exercise, good nutrition and getting enough rest. It also includes avoiding harmful habits like drug and alcohol abuse.
A number of studies have shown that people with a variety of social connections live longer than those who are isolated. Socializing can also strengthen your immune system, helping you to avoid the flu and colds.
Emotional wellness includes the ability to express feelings and exercise compassion for others. This is facilitated by having close relationships with friends and family. Spiritual wellness involves a high level of faith, hope and commitment to your individual beliefs. This is also facilitated by a belief that you can control your life and take responsibility for the choices you make.