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Social Connectedness – What does it mean?
By Pfizer Medical Team
By nature, we are very social creatures, and when we connect with friends and family through fun and engaging activities, we’re actually helping to maintain our sense of well-being. This helps to promote better overall health, which is why social connectedness is one of the dimensions of Wellness.
Social connectedness is the measure of how people come together and interact—and we’re not talking about how many posts you share with your friends on Facebook!
When you’re dealing with stress, depression or anxiety, you may be tempted to become less social, but that can create a nasty cycle that leaves you feeling more isolated, anxious, and depressed.
Get friendly with the rule of two Q’s
How often you socialize is very important. Ideally, you should try to connect with someone on a daily basis. That may seem impossible, but if you call a friend for a quick chat during your lunch hour—even that brief interaction can make a difference in how you feel. Consider calling, emailing or texting someone or—better yet—get together with a friend or family member in person.
Don’t limit your socializing to just once or twice a week. Try to commit to daily contact with others.
The quality of the people you connect with makes a difference. Experts recommend that you avoid toxic relationships or those that violate your personal boundaries. Be sure to connect with people who enrich and nourish you.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself before spending time with someone:
- Is this person negative or upbeat?
- Do we share a strong bond?
- Are we able to have deep conversations?
- Do we have fun together?
Try to keep company with people who are fun and who make you feel happy.
Improve your social connectedness
Volunteer. It’s a great way for you to start building a sense of community, which in turn can help you make new friends and connect with others. People who volunteer have reported an increase in overall happiness, improved physical health, greater self-esteem and self-confidence.
Join a group. If you enjoy reading or dancing, joining a book club or dance group can be a good way to meet people with similar interests.
Explore a new activity. Take a friend and enroll in a painting, photography or cooking class. It can be a good way to meet new people and expand your social group.
Want to get started with becoming more socially connected?
Download these tools.
Following these recommendations should be under the care of your physician, as results may vary.
Medically reviewed by Elizabeth Pappadopulos, PhD, Global Medical Affairs, Pfizer
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