How can you improve the social side of your health?

We need to pay attention to all aspects of our health to improve or maintain our overall well-being. Physical and mental health are often talked about, but all factors of health are connected. When you improve one, you will likely improve another at the same time. Social health is one part of your overall wellness that can motivate you to keep working on the others.

Social health is about how you feel about your relationships and connections with other people. When you have strong connections with others, feel like you belong and have a supportive network, you improve your adult social well-being.

Here, we’ll talk about different social health topics. We will look at why it is important. We will also discuss effective ways to improve social health and benefits of having strong social connections.

Why is social health important?

Social health is about your relationships and how well you connect with others. It's important for well-being because humans are social beings.

Having meaningful connections is important. They provide emotional support and help us feel like we belong and have a purpose. People with strong social relationships are 50% more likely to live longer. Poor social health, including isolation, can lead to negative outcomes. According to Stanford Medicine, one study showed that not having social connections is worse for our health than being obese, smoking or having high blood pressure. By understanding how important social health is, we can have a more fulfilling life.

What are 4 ways to improve social health?

How can you improve the social side of your health? Here are four ways to improve emotional health and social well-being. 

  1. Grow meaningful connections: Building and maintaining relationships with others is important for good social health. Spend time to get to know friends, family, colleagues and neighbors on a deeper level. Engage in open and honest communication, listen and show compassion to strengthen the connections you are creating with others.
  2. Expand your social circle: While deep, meaningful connections are important, so is broadening your network. Join clubs, organizations or community events. You can meet new people who share your interests. It can also expose you to different perspectives and experiences.
  3. Focus on face-to-face interactions: In the age of digital communication, it's easy to rely on text messages and social media for interaction. In-person interactions, however, offer an unmatched experience in growing genuine connections. Meeting someone for coffee, sharing a meal or going for walks with others are easy ways to connect. They also present opportunities for conversation.
  4. Practice active social skills: Social skills are like any other skill. They take practice and can be improved. Seek out resources to help you improve your communication, conflict resolution and emotional intelligence. Being socially adept enhances the quality of your interactions and promotes positive relationships.

What are the 5 benefits of good social health?

Strong social connections support and foster good health. They positively impact all aspects of adult well-being. Here are five benefits of good social health.

  1. Improved mental health: Having strong social connections can help protect against common mental health issues. These include chronic stress, depression and anxiety. Meaningful interactions with others can give us emotional support. They can also help us become more resilient in handling life's challenges.
  2. Stronger physical health: Stanford Medical shared that having low social connections can be dangerous. It can make a person more likely to feel anxious and depressed, which can lead to suicide. It can also make it harder for a person to recover from diseases and can cause high blood pressure and obesity. To stay healthy and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, it’s important to regularly engage in social activities.
  3. Greater cognitive health: Social engagement can help maintain cognitive function. It can also reduce the risk of cognitive decline, such as memory loss, in older adults. Social isolation is associated with a nearly 50% increased risk of dementia.
  4. Better quality of life: Social well-being contributes significantly to our overall quality of life. Meaningful social connections and relationships provide a sense of belonging, happiness and fulfillment.
  5. Longer life: Mental Health America reports that being lonely or isolated can reduce your lifespan as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Plus, it’s more dangerous to health than obesity.

What are some social health ideas?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Americans watch an average of 2.5 hours of television per day on weekdays. However, they spend only half an hour per day socializing. To improve our social wellness, we need to invest time, energy and positive intention, just like we do to improve our physical health.

Some social health ideas to consider include being an active listener and connecting with others at places you already go. Other ideas are to give compliments to people around you, accept invitations and join a club.

RECAP: Have you been underestimating the power of positive social interactions? Prioritizing your social health is a good use of your time and effort. It doesn’t have to be challenging. Make social connections, improve your adult social well-being and create a fulfilling life with help from Hello4Health by Allina Health. Start building your social skills today at