3 Personal Benefits of Social Wellness

The concept of wellness is thought of as a personal journey that seeks to inspire you to be the best that you can be, and while this is true, you cannot practically hope to truly become your best without opening your heart to others, which is where the concept of social wellness can be practiced in order to extend and enhance your own personal wellness by actively seeking to improve the wellness of others as well.

Isolation is not good for you, and even the smallest amount of socializing is necessary for good mental health according to Maslow’s needs hierarchy. Therefore, it isn’t possible to have complete wellness without interacting with others either face to face or in a group setting.

Without this kind of interaction, you can become susceptible to serious mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and self-harm. In addition, evidence also shows that the mental aspects of isolation and loneliness can also affect your physical health as those who have lived in isolation for long periods have been found to be at increased risk of serious health issues.

Increased Empathy and Compassion

One of the greatest benefits of social wellness is that of increased empathy and compassion since interacting with others allows you to get a sense of their emotions and how they feel about certain things, therefore you are able to relate to these issues on a human level. Empathy and compassion are often confused, but they aren’t the same thing.

What does empathy mean? Well, empathy is described by Oxford Languages as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of others”, while compassion is the sympathetic concern for the suffering of others. In a nutshell, an empathetic approach to others facilitates a human connection on an emotional level whereby you can share the feeling with someone who is suffering, which is crucial when personally and socially bonding with someone.

By increasing your senses of empathy and compassion, you can open your heart, mind, and soul to other people which can greatly increase personal social relationships and promote positive actions towards others. However, it should be noted that certain psychiatric conditions, such as psychopathy and sociopathy can prevent you from feeling some emotions.
Support and Service to Others

Socializing as much as you can is one of the core concepts of social wellness and this kind of interaction means that you will get to meet many wonderful people, all of whom are unique and beautiful in their own way. However, there is a shocking amount of people out there who need help, especially in these uncertain times of a global pandemic.

The World Health Organization reports that during the Covid-19 outbreak, the fear, worry, and concern of citizens has lead to an escalation of incidents such as stress, anxiety, and depression which has been exacerbated by the misuse of illicit drugs, alcohol, and self-harm or suicide attempts.

In order to enhance and grow your personal wellness, you can actively show your support for those who need it and provide the kind of service required at a human level. These don’t necessarily cost money, but perhaps you could spend some time chatting with an elderly neighbor, organizing a fun run with your friends, or raising awareness or money for good causes such as mental health or various disability charities.

A Sense of Belonging

Of course, all of your good deeds benefit your own wellness as well as they do for the wellness of others. Your own sense of belonging needs to also be addressed and even the best personal wellness routine cannot bestow the benefits of socializing with others. Social belongingness is a vital human need and has been on an evolutionary scale as group living was necessary for the purposes of survival since the dawn of man.

These days, we don’t need to forage for food or fear predatorial beasts (not in the animal sense anyway) but within your own group, a sense of belonging provides many of the psychological needs described by Maslow and other social psychoanalysts such as Tajfel, Bandura and Allport who theorized social identity theory, social learning theory, and social facilitation respectively.

Some of these social concepts combined are primary needs for adequate functioning within a society, social identity being chief among them as it relates to one’s self-identity within a group in relation to the collective. Again, relating to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, without social belonging, other important wellness factors are impossible to achieve such as self-esteem and self-actualization.

Wellness is an important aspect of modern life and it doesn’t just mean looking after yourself, but others as well, known as social wellness. Positive interaction with other people increases important emotions such as empathy and compassion which can be enhanced by helping others who are in need. These actions will also help establish a sense of social belonging which is a required step to self-actualization according to famous psychologist Abraham Maslow.

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