Social and Happy

How Is Our Well-Being Affected by Social Relationships?

Staying in touch with people you know can be good for you because:

1. Social relationships help reduce stress:

Having strong social connections can help you reduce stress and improve your overall well-being. After a stressful day, you might take it easy, relax, work out, or meet a friend and chat. Social ties give us the feeling that we have people we can rely on in times of need. This sense of security and belonging gives us a buffer against stressors. Also, people we know provide opportunities for distraction and fun, offering a break from the daily grind.

2. Social ties can boost happiness:

People with strong social ties are generally happier and have a greater sense of well-being. The Harvard Longitudinal Study of Adult Development says that close relationships, more than status or money, keep people happy throughout their lives.

3. Social connections can improve physical health:

People with strong social relationships have a lower risk of developing physical health problems, such as heart disease and certain types of cancer. The Harvard Longitudinal Study of Adult Development finds that social ties contribute to both your physical and mental health.

4. Social relationships help improve cognitive function:

Staying in touch can help keep your brain sharp and may even help protect against cognitive decline as you age. Social relationships may provide a sense of purpose. This is linked to better cognitive function. People with strong social connections may feel more motivated to care for their physical and mental health.

5. Social connections provide support:

In “Where Good Ideas Come From” Stephen Johnson emphasizes the role of social relations in promoting collaboration and exchanging ideas, saying that “collaboration is the engine of innovation.” Social relationships allow people to share and build upon each other’s ideas, leading to more creative and effective solutions. In the “Tipping Point,” Malcolm Gladwell points out that rather than close friends and family members (strong ties), acquaintances (weak ties) are more likely to introduce us to new people and ideas, new opportunities, and even new jobs. A solid social network can provide emotional and practical support during difficult times.

Check out these other resources:

8 Practical Steps to Strengthen Your Social Connections

How Do You Build Social Capital in a Hybrid Workplace?

Why Do Relationships Matter in Business?


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