July is Social Wellness Month!
Social Wellness emphasizes harmony with others as well as awareness of the impact you have on your community. Many people are not fully aware of how important social wellness is for our health. The following are just some of the ways that social wellness can affect our overall health.
- Socially isolated people are more susceptible to illness and have a death rate two or three times higher than those who are not socially isolated.
- People who maintain their social network and support systems do better under stress.
- Approximately 20 percent of Americans feel lonely and isolated during their free time.
- Touching, stroking and hugging can improve health.
- Laughter really is good medicine.
- Cholesterol levels go up when human companionship is lacking.
- Warm, close friendships cause higher levels of immunoglobulin A (an antibody that helps keep away respiratory infections and cavities).
- A strong social network can create a good mood and enhance self-esteem.
Interested in a way to analyze your own social wellness? Take a few minutes to complete the following Social Wellness Assessment.
Read each statement carefully and respond honestly by using the following scoring:
Almost always= 2 points
Sometimes/occasionally= 1 point
Very seldom/never= 0 points
- I contribute time and or money to social and community projects.
- I am committed to a lifetime of volunteerism.
- I exhibit fairness and justice in dealing with people.
- I have a network of close friends and/or family.
- I am interested in others, including those from different backgrounds than my own.
- I am able to balance my own needs with the needs of others.
- I am able to communicate with and get along with a wide variety of people.
- I obey the laws and rules of our society.
- I am a compassionate person and try to help others when I can.
- I support and help with family, neighborhood, and work social gatherings.
Add together the points you scored on the ten questions for a combined total. Find the range of points that compare to your combined total to complete your assessment.
Score: 15-20 Points– Excellent strength in this dimension.
Score 9-14 Points– There is room for improvement. Look again at the items in which your score
1 or 0. What changed can you make to improve your score?
Score 0-8 Points– This dimension needs a lot of work. Look again at this dimension and challenge yourself to begin making small steps toward growth here. Remember: The goal is balanced wellness.