Why A Social Life Matters
Human beings are made to be social! We are social creatures that need companionship and community in order to thrive in life. The strength of our connections deeply impacts our mental health and overall happiness in life. Being socially connected to others helps ease anxiety, depression, decrease stress, boost self-worth, provide comfort, prevent loneliness, and increase life expectancy. On the other side, lacking strong social connections poses a huge risk to one’s mental, emotional, and physical health. Poor social support has been linked to increased depression, increased loneliness, higher levels of alcohol use, higher chances of cardiovascular disease, higher chances of dementia, and higher rates of suicide.
Having strong social relationships is super important when it comes to health. They promote a sense of safety, belonging, and security. Allowing yourself to confide in others, and letting others also confide in you is a huge helper of mental health and increases your bonds with others. From a Christian perspective, a communal God made us to be a communal people.
In-person contact with others triggers hormones that alleviate stress, make you feel happier, healthier, and live a more positive lifestyle. Research shows that physical touch can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, lessen the effects of depression and anxiety, boost your immune system, and relieve physical pain. We need physical, in person connections to maintain good mental health. It is important to schedule time with friends and family in person on a regular basis in order to avoid loneliness. It doesn’t have to be hours on end, or a full night out. It could be a fifteen-minute walk, or a quick coffee date, any interaction and physical contact is better than nothing! Even if you are more of an introverted person, it is so important to be intentional about being social and making strong connections and friendships with others.
At Ambrose we have many social supports available for students. There are many formal supports such as counselling services, community groups, clubs, and much more. There are also many events and social opportunities constantly taking place at Ambrose University, which we encourage you to participate in. Feel free to talk to any of our peer health educators about any questions about wellness, or how you can get further connected socially.