We are born into social groups and live our entire lives as a part of society. We crave contact with others every day for support, wellbeing and entertainment but as our lifestyles become evermore transient and reliant on digital tools, these simple interactions are under threat. Reflecting on ourselves and our relationships is a great way to asses our social health. So, what is social health? Social health can be defined as our ability to interact and form meaningful relationships with others.

We interact with people every day. The quality and quantity of our relationships affect our mental and physical wellbeing. studies show that people with poor social interactions are more likely to die younger than those with high involvement rates.

Then is this social health necessary in our life? yes

Because it keeps mental and physical health in peak condition, boosts the immune system, gives more positive outlook on life, sharper mind and reduce the risk of depression, chronic conditions like osteoporosis, cardiovascular problems and even some cancers. Several recent studies reveal that seniors who engage in regular social activities are less likely to experience cognitive decline that sometimes leads to Alzheimer’s disease and leads to Longer, happier lives.

The factors which affect social health are: Nuclear families, loneliness, things such as alcohol, drugs, and tobacco of addictive substances, frequent use of these which results in impairing thinking, decision making and poor social health.

So How Do We Measure Social Health? Can we start by looking at the signs of good social health and assessing whether these apply to our life? The Signs of good social health include: Treating others with respect.

• Maintaining and building strong relationships with friends.
• Creating healthy boundaries that help with communication, trust and conflict management.
• Turning to friends and family for support.
• Communicating effectively.
• Having assertive skills rather than passive or aggressive ones.
• Adapting in social situations.
• Having fun in life.
• Balancing our social and personal time
• To be yourself in all situations.
• Being engaged with other people in the community.

How to Boost our Social Health: Start the day with a healthy breakfast.

 Eat together as a family as often as possible.
 Limit TV time and read a book instead.
 Allow kids to enjoy better peer relationships.
 Teaching kids to share may help to boost their self-esteem.
 Help your child to develop positive social skills from an early age
 Demonstrate to your child how friendships work by letting them see how you behave with your friends
 Help your child find other children with similar interests
 Help them to find new areas of interest
 Help to boost their confidence in everyday situations
 Take Care of Yourself
 Do Something Fun, Somewhere New.
 Appreciate Yourself and Others.
 Rekindle old friendships and nurture relationships with people who are respectful, positive and support.
 Develop Effective communication skills.
 Cooperation is important as an adult, most work environments thrive on employees’ ability to work together as a team. Cooperation is key in romantic relationships as well.
 Your child will need to cooperate with classmates on the playground as well as in the classroom.
 Be a role model for your children. Do something active every day.
 Spend time with family, Connect with others through technology.
 Explore lifelong learning opportunities. If you’re able, find a part-time job at a place you’d enjoy working.
 Find a club that matches your interests, do some volunteer work and Try out a gym.
 Make a Commitment and Keep It.
 Don’t Blame or Criticize.
 Attentiveness and be a good Listener.

Throughout our lives we have many opportunities to build and maintain relationships. Some of these relationships grow and mature with us, while others fall away due to ever-changing life circumstances. As you age, it can be harder to keep in touch with friends and family due to the fact that maybe you’ve moved away from each other and can’t come around as often, or perhaps you aren’t as active as you once were. However, maintaining relationships becomes even more vital as you grow older, so Enjoy a longer, healthier life by getting involved with others.

By Ponnaiyin Selvan

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