Understanding social well-being

The what, the why & the how

social well-being

In the forthcoming years, 2020 (and a part of 2021) will be looked back at as a bizarre time that the world collectively experienced. With a global pandemic raging across continents, it was encouraged and mandated for us to practice ‘social distancing’. And not one person is going to be able to think of the entire ordeal fondly – not even the staunchest of self-proclaimed introverts. Because, the truth is, this period really shook our well-being. 

Being forced to stay away from people at large, not only the ones we love, showed us that it can be increasingly hard when you have to avoid all but virtual social interactions.

It became clearer as the months passed us by that humans are not meant to keep away from each other for elongated periods of time. You’ve most likely heard that saying – humans are social beings. No matter how you were introduced to this concept – whether in a class at school or through Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – you’d never have imagined that you’d actually experience the depth of that phrase, first-hand.

 The verdict has been predictable for a few months now; in a post-pandemic world, focusing on social well-being is going to be a lot more important than ever before. 

What is social well-being?

Social well-being refers to our behavior within the communities, groups, and organizations that we are a part of. It is also a reflection of all the benefits we derive from living in society. Some of these benefits include: 

  • Relationships
  • Shared identities
  • Mutual understanding
  • Trust
  • Solidarity 

Take a moment here to pick any one of those benefits and place it within your own context. For instance, you could think of ‘trust’ and think of someone whom you can always count on being around. Or you might think of a time when you or someone you know contributed generously to a social cause, thus expressing solidarity within a community. You could also just think of a friend or family member with whom you share a close bond.

This little thinking activity shows us that social well-being is a sum of all our social interactions – big or small. But that’s not all.

social well-being

Social well-being is a major part of our overall

well-being

At wellyou, we place emphasis on well-being as a whole, rather than in parts. Social well-being is an essential aspect of our overall well-being. Focusing on our social well-being goes beyond helping us experience a strong sense of belonging. It can also directly impact our mental health and indirectly, our physical health.  

Again, take a moment to correlate this with your own life. Think of a time when you were nervous. Maybe you were nervous about presenting an idea to your colleagues. You may have noticed some physiological effects of this nervousness too, like trembling legs and hyperventilation, or others. The reason you were nervous was that you wanted to feel accepted within your organization; nervousness is a mental state of mind, which caused you to experience extraordinary physiological symptoms. Now think of how that very situation was resolved. You finished presenting your idea and all your colleagues loved it. They praised you for it and even contributed to it, putting you at ease, both mentally and physically. 

Although this is a simple example, it illustrates how social acceptance can impact your physical and mental states. You will find that this is true pertaining to different aspects of social health.

Very often, we unwittingly neglect our social well-being. We try to focus on our mental and physical health in different ways, but we don’t realize just how important it is to also be active members of society and how improving that can also help us improve our social well-being.

overall well-being

For example, working overtime can help you feel a sense of accomplishment, but working overtime can also cause you to neglect the people you love. You may also do the opposite and neglect your role at the workplace, leading to stressful days and impaired relationships with colleagues – causing your mental health to be affected – which, in turn, has ill effects on your physical health

If you have found yourself in one or the other position, you are not alone. With the busy, fast-paced lifestyle of the 21st century, it can seem difficult to find a balance. But it’s not impossible, as you will see below. 

How to improve your social well-being

Spend time with your loved ones

Call up your family members, even if it’s just for a short chat, or make a plan to hang out (virtually, until we can do it in person again). Thanks to the boom of digital communication technologies like Zoom, you don’t need to wait until you can travel far to meet your loved ones again. Finding the time to connect with them is significantly easier now that we do have the option of doing it online – and it does help, even if it doesn’t feel like the exact same thing. 

Family member

Practice gratitude

Expressing gratitude, not just to the people you love but also for situations and your present context. You can also maintain a gratitude journal to count your blessings (To help you get started, here is our free, 5-day gratitude journal, filled with prompts to help you realize the potential of gratitude!)

Practice acts of kindness

See a stranger whose hairstyle you love? Tell them! Compliment someone’s smile. Or help an elderly person cross the road (of course, during the pandemic be sure to disinfect before and after).

Donate to a cause

Donate some amount of your income each month – it doesn’t even have to be a significant amount. Did you know in some countries, it costs approximately $1 to feed a child for an entire day? 

Volunteer

Volunteer 

You can volunteer in many ways. You could put your professional skills to use to help out a cause, for instance, using copywriting skills to write great social media posts for an animal shelter; or you can volunteer as a caretaker for the elderly at some old-age homes. There are a lot of causes that invite volunteers to help out with a wide range of activities and services, participating in which can help you develop your sense of compassion. 

You can read about these in more detail in our free ebook here, which equips you with the basics of your overall well-being, including your physical and mental health. 

To conclude…

Your well-being matters, and as part of society, you matter. We hope you found this blog an informative and useful way to focus on enhancing your well-being. If you’ve read all the way to the end of this article, we would also like to invite you to be a part of our own exclusive wellyou community, where we share tips, encouragement, and all things well-being. You are a valuable member of the community and are welcome to share your own thoughts and photos of things you do to feel well! 

Keywords: social well-being, holistic well-being, well-being, volunteering, donate, compassion, kindness, gratitude, social isolation, mental health, physical health, the link between social well-being and mental and physical health

  • Cicognani E. (2014) Social Well-Being. In: Michalos A.C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_2797
  • Bhandari, Humnath & Yasunobu, Kumi. (2009). What Is Social Capital? A Comprehensive Review of the Concept. Asian Journal of Social Science. 37. 480-510. 10.1163/156853109X436847. 
  • Manca A.R. (2014) Social Cohesion. In: Michalos A.C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_2739
  • Umberson, D., & Montez, J. K. (2010). Social relationships and health: a flashpoint for health policy. Journal of health and social behavior, 51 Suppl(Suppl), S54–S66. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022146510383501

More from wellyou

Importance of Resilience

We’ve all heard it said that life is sort of like a rollercoaster; it certainly has its ups and downs along the way.

  • fear of missing out

How to cope with fear of missing out

We’ll take a closer look at what FOMO really is, and we’ll discuss some helpful practices to cope with feelings of FOMO in a healthy, mindful way, so that we can all keep our mental and social well-being in check.

Understanding social well-being

The what, the why & the how

social well-being

In the forthcoming years, 2020 (and a part of 2021) will be looked back at as a bizarre time that the world collectively experienced. With a global pandemic raging across continents, it was encouraged and mandated for us to practice ‘social distancing’. And not one person is going to be able to think of the entire ordeal fondly – not even the staunchest of self-proclaimed introverts. Because, the truth is, this period really shook our well-being. 

Being forced to stay away from people at large, not only the ones we love, showed us that it can be increasingly hard when you have to avoid all but virtual social interactions.

It became clearer as the months passed us by that humans are not meant to keep away from each other for elongated periods of time. You’ve most likely heard that saying – humans are social beings. No matter how you were introduced to this concept – whether in a class at school or through Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – you’d never have imagined that you’d actually experience the depth of that phrase, first-hand.

 The verdict has been predictable for a few months now; in a post-pandemic world, focusing on social well-being is going to be a lot more important than ever before. 

What is social well-being?

Social well-being refers to our behavior within the communities, groups, and organizations that we are a part of. It is also a reflection of all the benefits we derive from living in society. Some of these benefits include: 

  • Relationships
  • Shared identities
  • Mutual understanding
  • Trust
  • Solidarity 

Take a moment here to pick any one of those benefits and place it within your own context. For instance, you could think of ‘trust’ and think of someone whom you can always count on being around. Or you might think of a time when you or someone you know contributed generously to a social cause, thus expressing solidarity within a community. You could also just think of a friend or family member with whom you share a close bond.

This little thinking activity shows us that social well-being is a sum of all our social interactions – big or small. But that’s not all.

social well-being

Social well-being is a major part of our overall well-being

At wellyou, we place emphasis on well-being as a whole, rather than in parts. Social well-being is an essential aspect of our overall well-being. Focusing on our social well-being goes beyond helping us experience a strong sense of belonging. It can also directly impact our mental health and indirectly, our physical health.  

Again, take a moment to correlate this with your own life. Think of a time when you were nervous. Maybe you were nervous about presenting an idea to your colleagues. You may have noticed some physiological effects of this nervousness too, like trembling legs and hyperventilation, or others. The reason you were nervous was that you wanted to feel accepted within your organization; nervousness is a mental state of mind, which caused you to experience extraordinary physiological symptoms. Now think of how that very situation was resolved. You finished presenting your idea and all your colleagues loved it. They praised you for it and even contributed to it, putting you at ease, both mentally and physically. 

Although this is a simple example, it illustrates how social acceptance can impact your physical and mental states. You will find that this is true pertaining to different aspects of social health.

Very often, we unwittingly neglect our social well-being. We try to focus on our mental and physical health in different ways, but we don’t realize just how important it is to also be active members of society and how improving that can also help us improve our social well-being.

overall well-being

For example, working overtime can help you feel a sense of accomplishment, but working overtime can also cause you to neglect the people you love. You may also do the opposite and neglect your role at the workplace, leading to stressful days and impaired relationships with colleagues – causing your mental health to be affected – which, in turn, has ill effects on your physical health

If you have found yourself in one or the other position, you are not alone. With the busy, fast-paced lifestyle of the 21st century, it can seem difficult to find a balance. But it’s not impossible, as you will see below. 

How to improve your social well-being

Spend time with your loved ones

Call up your family members, even if it’s just for a short chat, or make a plan to hang out (virtually, until we can do it in person again). Thanks to the boom of digital communication technologies like Zoom, you don’t need to wait until you can travel far to meet your loved ones again. Finding the time to connect with them is significantly easier now that we do have the option of doing it online – and it does help, even if it doesn’t feel like the exact same thing. 

Family member

Practice gratitude

Expressing gratitude, not just to the people you love but also for situations and your present context. You can also maintain a gratitude journal to count your blessings (To help you get started, here is our free, 5-day gratitude journal, filled with prompts to help you realize the potential of gratitude!)

Practice acts of kindness

See a stranger whose hairstyle you love? Tell them! Compliment someone’s smile. Or help an elderly person cross the road (of course, during the pandemic be sure to disinfect before and after).

Donate to a cause

Donate some amount of your income each month – it doesn’t even have to be a significant amount. Did you know in some countries, it costs approximately $1 to feed a child for an entire day? 

Volunteer

Volunteer 

You can volunteer in many ways. You could put your professional skills to use to help out a cause, for instance, using copywriting skills to write great social media posts for an animal shelter; or you can volunteer as a caretaker for the elderly at some old-age homes. There are a lot of causes that invite volunteers to help out with a wide range of activities and services, participating in which can help you develop your sense of compassion. 

You can read about these in more detail in our free ebook here, which equips you with the basics of your overall well-being, including your physical and mental health. 

To conclude…

Your well-being matters, and as part of society, you matter. We hope you found this blog an informative and useful way to focus on enhancing your well-being. If you’ve read all the way to the end of this article, we would also like to invite you to be a part of our own exclusive wellyou community, where we share tips, encouragement, and all things well-being. You are a valuable member of the community and are welcome to share your own thoughts and photos of things you do to feel well! 

Keywords: social well-being, holistic well-being, well-being, volunteering, donate, compassion, kindness, gratitude, social isolation, mental health, physical health, the link between social well-being and mental and physical health

  • Cicognani E. (2014) Social Well-Being. In: Michalos A.C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_2797
  • Bhandari, Humnath & Yasunobu, Kumi. (2009). What Is Social Capital? A Comprehensive Review of the Concept. Asian Journal of Social Science. 37. 480-510. 10.1163/156853109X436847. 
  • Manca A.R. (2014) Social Cohesion. In: Michalos A.C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_2739
  • Umberson, D., & Montez, J. K. (2010). Social relationships and health: a flashpoint for health policy. Journal of health and social behavior, 51 Suppl(Suppl), S54–S66. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022146510383501

More from wellyou

Importance of Resilience

We’ve all heard it said that life is sort of like a rollercoaster; it certainly has its ups and downs along the way.

  • fear of missing out

How to cope with fear of missing out

We’ll take a closer look at what FOMO really is, and we’ll discuss some helpful practices to cope with feelings of FOMO in a healthy, mindful way, so that we can all keep our mental and social well-being in check.

Get to know us

Wanna chat? Contact us at

info@well-you.com

Get to know us

Wanna chat? Contact us at
info@well-you.com

Get to know us

Wanna chat? Contact us at
info@well-you.com