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  • Writer's pictureAngela Belcher

Social Wellness

The Importance of Social Health: Connection and Community

Kasley Killam (2023) defines social health as “the aspect of overall well-being that stems from connection and community. It’s about having close bonds with family and friends, enjoying a sense of belonging to groups, and feeling supported, valued, and loved.” In the absence of belonging and value, our social and overall wellness are reduced. People who are isolated and/or lonely are also at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and all-cause mortality (Hodgson et al., 2020). Hodgson et al. report loneliness and isolation as two separate conditions but describe how they are interdependent and often appear together. This is especially prominent in the older population who often live alone and have limited mobility to socialize. The writers also stated that loneliness causes chronic stress on the body resulting in inflammation, poor sleeping ability, and cognitive decline.

The Impact of Social Interactions on Health

We learn how to treat people by the way we were treated and by observing how those around us treat people. As we age, we use our experiences to develop our own values which dictate how we treat others. Because each of us prioritize our values differently, different people value different things more than others; this can cause conflict in social interactions, especially with close friends and family. This can be compounded by poor communication skills. Poor communication skills affect every aspect of social wellness and magnify stress. Since it is imperative that we feel connected, anything that creates separation can cause stress within our social wellness. The risk increases when we feel alienated by those closest to us because we’re more vulnerable overall to those people.

The Role of Community and Belonging

A sense of belonging and community is crucial for maintaining social health. Being part of a community provides emotional support, increases feelings of security, and helps in building strong relationships. Without this sense of belonging, individuals can experience loneliness and isolation, leading to various health issues. Community involvement and strong social bonds can mitigate these risks by providing a support network that enhances overall well-being.

Addressing Social Health Challenges

To address social health challenges, it’s essential to improve communication skills and actively seek to build and maintain strong relationships. This includes making an effort to connect with others, engaging in community activities, and seeking support when needed. For those who feel isolated, finding ways to increase social interactions, such as joining clubs or volunteer groups, can help reduce feelings of loneliness and improve overall health.


Social health is a vital aspect of overall well-being that relies on connection and community. By fostering close bonds, improving communication skills, and actively participating in community life, we can enhance our social health and reduce the risks associated with loneliness and isolation. Embracing our need for connection and valuing the relationships we have can lead to a healthier, more fulfilling life.

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