Dimensions of Wellness: Social Wellness

Social WellnessThe social dimension of wellness encourages contributing to one’s human and physical environment to the common welfare of one’s community. Social Wellness emphasizes the interdependence with others and nature. It includes the pursuit of harmony in one’s family.’ As you travel a wellness path, you’ll become more aware of your importance in society as well as the impact you have on nature and your community. You’ll take an active part in improving our world by encouraging a healthy living environment and initiating better communication with those around you. You’ll actively seek ways to preserve the beauty and balance of nature along the pathway.

Social wellness is having positive interactions with and enjoying being with others. It is having comfort and ease during work and leisure situations and communicating feelings and needs to others. It involves developing and building close friendships and intimacy, practicing empathy and effective listening, caring for others and for the common good, and allowing others to care for you. It is recognizing the need for leisure and recreation and budgeting time for those activities.

As you proceed on your social wellness journey, you’ll discover many things-you’ll discover that you have the power to make willful choices to enhance personal relationships, important friendships, your community, the environment and, ultimately, the world. As you travel the wellness path, you’ll begin to believe that – socially.

  • It’s better to contribute to the common welfare of our community than to think only of ourselves.
  • It’s better to live in harmony with others and our environment than to live in conflict with them.

Social Wellness Facts and Tips

  • Socially isolated people are more susceptible to illness and have a death rate two to three times higher than those who are not socially isolated.
  • People who maintain their social network and support systems do better under stress.
  • Approximately 20 percent of Americans feel lonely and isolated during their free time.
  • Touching, stroking, and hugging can improve health.
  • Laughter really is good medicine.
  • Cholesterol levels go up when human companionship is lacking.
  • Warm, close friendships cause higher levels of immunoglobulin A (an antibody that helps keep away respiratory infections and cavities).
  • A strong social network can create a good mood and enhance self-esteem.

So how can I improve my social wellness?

  • Practice self disclosure
  • Get to know your personal needs and pursue things and people who nurture those needs
  • Contact and make a specific effort to talk to the people who are supportive in your life
  • Attend a Wellness Forum
  • Join a club or organization that interests you

Social Wellness Assessment

The social dimension of wellness involves developing, nourishing and encouraging satisfying relationships.  Read each statement carefully and respond honestly by using the following scoring:

Almost always = 2 points           Sometimes/occasionally = 1 point          Very seldom = 0 points

_____ 1. I contribute time and/or money to social and community projects.

_____ 2. I am committed to a lifetime of volunteerism.

_____ 3. I exhibit fairness and justice in dealing with people.

_____ 4. I have a network of close friends and/or family.

_____ 5. I am interested in others, including those from different backgrounds than my own.

_____ 6. I am able to balance my own needs with the needs of others.

_____ 7. I am able to communicate with and get along with a wide variety of people.

_____ 8. I obey the laws and rules of our society.

_____ 9. I am a compassionate person and try to help others when I can.

_____ 10. I support and help with family, neighborhood, and work social gatherings.

_______ Total for Social Wellness Dimension

Score: 15 to 20 Points -  Excellent strength in this dimension.

Score:  9 to 14 Points – There is room for improvement.  Look again at the items in which you scored 1 or 0.  What changes can you make to improve your score?

Score:  0 to 8 Points – This dimension needs a lot of work.  Look again at  this dimension and challenge yourself to begin making small steps toward growth here.  Remember:  The goal is balanced wellness.