Social interaction and support are paramount to our health. In fact industries have been built on this, take social media for example! Social media itself has many positives but also negatives and therefore cannot replace sharing time with people you love face to face. When together not only are we able to read our friends and families body language, but we are also blessed with the power of touch. Touch is something I believe is vital to wellbeing, both physically and mentally.
Being able to share your thoughts and feelings, opening yourself up to loved ones or to someone you trust (this could be a healthcare professional such as a Chiropractor) can help half the load! The phase a problem shared is a problem halved springs to mind. Just talking things through with someone can help sort your thoughts in your head, whether they offer advice or not. Support can help you cope with major life events, such as a divorce, house move, loss of job. Those who are lonely suffer more with stress, depression and cardoivascular issues. Everyone loves to feel valued, can you think of a time you didn’t like to be appreciated, needed or complemented?
Taking part in team sports is a fantastic way to involve yourself in the community, whilst building rapport and boosting your confidence. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress levels, improve cardiovascular fitness and mental agility. Being able to spend time with others whilst exercising is a fabulous way to get social support and interaction. You do not have to join a basketball team like Michele, there are gentler group activities out there. There are several walkling groups in Peacehaven, speak to the Sussex community development association (SCDA) for more information. www.sussexcommunity.org.uk
Other benefits of social interaction:
Improves immune function
Improves mental healh
Improves pain management
Reasons why too much social media has a negative impact:
Addiction – social media stimulates the pleasure cenres in your brain. When someone ‘likes’ your post you get a feel good boost, however the reverse is true if you get no interaction from a post. The amount of dopamine release (your pleasure hormone) you get from a social media post ‘like’ as opposed to something happening in ‘real life’ is much greater and this is when addiction can form. We can never commnicate with so many people at once in normal everyday life as we can on social media.
Trolling – people can hide behind their online profile and because you are not face to face make cruel and unnecessary comments. This can lead to anxiety and depression. Online bullying can be really real, particularly for the younger generations. It is easy for truths to be mixed and hundreds of people to witness the comments causing much mental anxiety to the victim.
Affects actual ability to communicate in person – so many people become anxious about being in company because they spend all their time behind a screen. Socially people become less able to communicate clearly and politely. This not only affects them but also those they are interacting with.
Get yourself out and about, if you can’t, do not be afraid to tell a friend, colleague, someone you know how you feel. Call them, ask them to come over, don’t wait for them to get in touch with you! Best of all join a group, get in some exercise whilst enjoying the company of others.
Clinic owner and Chiropractor