Written by: Natalie
What do you need to do to take care of yourself every day? Most people would say exercise and eat nutritious foods. But what about your social connections?
Did you know humans are inherently social creatures?
Research shows us loneliness is on the rise and a lack of human connection can be harmful to your health. In today’s age, we live busy lives, trying to strike a balance between work, school, hobbies, self-care and more. Often, our social connections fall by the wayside.
Social connection is a determinant of health and wellbeing.
What is Social Connection?
Forms of Social Connection
- Social Capital: access to support, resources, and information due to relationships with others5
- Social Cohesion: the perception of belonging to a ‘community’5
- Social Inclusion: full and equal participation in social, cultural and political institutions for all members of a ‘community’5
Benefits of Social Connection
Our inherent need for human connection doesn’t mean that every introvert must become a social butterfly. Connection looks different for everyone.
How can you make more social connections?
- Holt-Lundstad J, Smith TB, Layton JB. Social relationships and mortality risk: a meta-analytic review. PLoS Med. 2010;7(7):e1000316
- Cohen S. Social Relationships and Health. Am Psychol. 2004; 59:676-684.
- Uchino BN. Social support and health: a review of physiological processes potentially underlying links to disease outcomes. Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 2006; 29:377-387.
- Alberta Health Services. https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/Pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=abl0295
- United Nations. 2016. Leaving No One Behind, A Report on the World Social Situation. https://www.un.org/esa/socdev/rwss/2016/full-report.pdf
- Holt-Lunstad, J., Robles, T. F., & Sbarra, D. A. (2017). Advancing social connection as a public health priority in the United States. The American psychologist, 72(6), 517–530. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000103