“When top scientists and psychologists talk about what’s important to our overall wellbeing and how satisfied we are with our lives, the only thing that they all agree on is that social relationships are probably the single best predictor of our overall happiness.” Tom Rath
What is Social Well-being?
Social well-being is about how we interact with those around us. How comfortable we feel and how we adapt to social situations. It’s about the community you live in and the contributions you make to the society around you. It’s about the relationships you make, and how you maintain them. The support network that surrounds you, and the benefits that you offer back. It’s about give and take, building boundaries, and having acceptance. Being able to express yourself and your views. It’s about allowing yourself to let go of relationships that have negative impacts but also being able to accept when someone walks away from you. Realising that not everything we see on social media is a true portrayal of someone’s life. It’s about letting the world see you for who you really are. It’s about accepting the good and bad that happens in society. Accepting those around you. Learning to reach out to those in need and finding your voice when you, yourself need support. It’s about building trust, respect, and compassion. And finally, it’s about being present and not isolating yourself from those around you who could enrich your life.
Why is social well-being important?
We are all social beings (yes, even us introverts), we were born to mix and socialise, but not everyone has the same level of social involvement. When we have a higher level of social involvement we create stronger deeper levels of relationships with those around us, thus creating quality relationships that bring mutual respect, joy, and compassion. Those relationships are far more likely to respond to you in times of need and vice versa.
Did you know that when you have a network of strong, quality relationships around you, it can reduce your risk of heart attacks, chronic diseases, mobility issues, high blood pressure, poor mental health, anxiety & depression, and increases your immune system. Not to mention that studies show those with high levels of social interaction live longer.
But that’s not to say if you are an introvert that you can’t change this. As daunting as it may seem… And as an introvert myself I completely understand how daunting it is. You CAN change how you interact in society. You CAN build up the confidence! You CAN establish quality relationships. Like with most things it just takes time and practice.
This is why our next mini-series will look at several different topics around how you can incorporate social well-being into your self-care routine. As well as looking at the different ways in which you can practice building confidence to make deeper, meaningful relationships within your local community.