Fostering and maintaining healthy social relationships can reduce loneliness and anger, help you feel more connected to others and even improve your physical wellbeing.
What is social wellbeing?
Social wellbeing is the ability to communicate with others and build meaningful relationships where you can freely be yourself.
Social connections with others can include family, friends, coworkers, and members of your community that you trust. Your network of relationships may be big or small and look different depending on things like your culture or where you live. Either way, having close family members or friends can help you feel supported, valued and create a sense of belonging.
The health benefits of social connection
Healthy social wellbeing can directly impact things like your stress hormones, blood pressure, and heart rate. It can also provide benefits years down the road, reducing the risk of health conditions like dementia.
Building social wellbeing is an important way to strengthen your emotional wellbeing. It can increase happiness and give you a sense of purpose and belonging. This can add to your resilience.
Building social skills
Everyone has a story. And this can affect how people connect with others. If you’ve had challenging or traumatic experiences in your past, connection may feel difficult sometimes, but that’s okay. Forms of connection are always changing, and there’s support available that can help you feel trusting and safe when connecting with others.
Building communication skills, active listening, empathy, and kindness can contribute to positive relationships. These are all social skills that anyone can learn and work on in any time of your life.
Sometimes, it may feel hard to maintain social connections, or work on your social skills. This can be especially true if you already feel stress in your life. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to developing social wellbeing. It’s important that you take steps that make sense for you.
You might consider connecting with people in safe ways that work for you; messaging or calling a friend; taking part in an outdoor activity with others; or joining a virtual community or group online.
If you want support or have questions on how to connect with others, you may want to speak to a mental health professional to develop next steps that are right for you.
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Available B.C. wide
Canadian Mental Health Association - BC Division
Provides online mental health and substance use information for individuals and families in BC. The website features thousands of plain-language resources including personal stories, articles, information sheets and content in eleven languages. As well, individuals can email requests for help, support, information or referrals.
There are also four screening self-tests visitors can take covering mental well-being, depression, anxiety disorders and risky drinking. The website is coordinated by the Canadian Mental Health Association's BC Division on behalf of a group of mental health and addictions non-profit agencies called the BC Partners.