When asked about our health, the only thing that strikes our mind is our physical well-being and the traditional ‘I am fine, thank you’ makes it quite evident. This is so because almost all of us very stressed out in our lives now-a-days, mostly because of the immense work pressure. However, we still attend business parties and other gatherings not out of affection but our social obligations. It is a result of this feeling of being obligated to meet with people and enjoy that we are never able to actually let ourselves free. Most of us feel that this is yet another sacrifice we make for our careers but actually, this is yet another sacrifice that worsens our overall fitness even more. Here it is important to understand that this state of healthiness that is being talked about is not our physical well-being but our social well-being. Now, most people would argue that social life has nothing to do with one’s health but you must realize that health is scientifically defined as the well-being of a person in all the aspects: Physical, Mental and Social.
Social health is actually a combination of two aspects of a person’s lifestyle. Let us look at them both:
- One aspect of social well-being entails a person being able to interact with the rest of the members of his society and also being able to thrive in all the social settings that might come his way. The natural behavior and not the obliged one is what determine a person’s level of social well-being.
- Another aspect of social well-being is not restricted to any one individual. It is related to the overall social structure and welfare of the society. This means that interpersonal relations between all the members of a particular stratum of a society and the way the people in the higher strata treat those in the lower strata are what help to determine if a group of people are socially healthy. It is because of this, that the countries that suffer from conflicts are thought to be suffering from social health problems.
Thus, social health is not just about interacting with people in social gatherings; it also covers how a person maintains his other relationships. Apart from dealing with one’s family members and nurturing the blood relations, social health also deals with friendships and how well a person manages to keep his friendships. In fact, most of the people do not know that social isolation is not the result of a mental illness in a person. It is actually quite the opposite. This form of social illness is actually the cause of many sorts of mental and physical illnesses. This is the prime reason why many researchers and health professionals have come to understand the true importance of maintaining good social health for it has a direct impact on the other kinds of health. This is also the reason why there are many researches going on in this field and these researches aim to study the effect of social interactions on the other forms of health.
Image Credit :- Medicine UAMS