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Emotional Wellness and Social Engagement

A picture with a town in the background with social media engagement numbers. The title reads Emotional Wellness + Social Engagement.

Humans are at our best when we are engaged in communities. History records that civilizations that thrived brought their skills, gifts, and resources together. Most of us know families, friendships, and gleaning from the generations before us cultivates a strong bond of unity, culture, and belonging. However, research and recent reports have shown that loneliness is an epidemic globally.

The world's greatest tragedy is unwantedness; the world's greatest disease is loneliness. –Mother Teresa

Why is this important?

Staying socially engaged is vital to our emotional well-being and overall health. It helps to keep our minds sharp and our bodies active while enhancing the richness of life through connection to others. Lacking relationships can affect the mindset and the way one perceives life. We should desire fellowship.

Hebrews 10:24-25 CSB "And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching."

May we use wisdom and creativity to stay connected to others, especially those who live alone. Here's a quote to ponder from Mother Teresa, "The world's greatest tragedy is unwantedness; the world's greatest disease is loneliness."

Her words carry a powerful truth and conviction. If unwantedness is tragic, then the joy of in-person association should be the remedy. If loneliness is a disease, should we intentionally be seeking the cure of interconnection?

According to the CDC, social isolation and loneliness are linked to increased risks for:

  • Heart disease and stroke

  • Type 2 Diabetes

  • Depression and anxiety

  • Addiction

  • Suicidality and Self-harm

  • Dementia

  • and earlier death.

Though social media can be one way to connect with others, it should not be the primary or only way. I have coached and counseled people with double, triple, or more social media followers than I have, yet they feel isolated or disconnected. Hugs still matter. Hearing someone's voice and tone still matters. Eye connection still matters. Being present and enjoying company still matters.

Social engagement tips to boost emotional wellness.

Whether this is your first attempt or your hundredth, here are 3 things to consider when assisting in the area of social engagement:

  1. Be open to attending a local church, small group, or family gathering to meet new people and establish or nurture healthy relationships.

  2. Volunteer for a community outreach program. Gathering together, helping others, and working as a team can do wonders for your emotional well-being and those around you.

  3. Try decreasing electronic device connection through social media, text, or email. Instead try scheduling a lunch date with a friend, visiting a loved one who's been on your mind, or starting a conversation with the person you see every day but never engage with.

Bonus: For my introverted folks. Being introverted as well, it's understandable this may be a little uncomfortable. A warm greeting, like "hello" or "good morning" can be a small step towards feeling less awkward in social situations. In a large group, try focusing on one-on-one conversations instead of the whole group, which can be overwhelming sometimes.

Whatever your level of social engagement, know that you have the authority to choose what is best for you. Remember that social awareness and relationship management are noteworthy skills to add to your emotional wellness toolkit.

Which tip do you use the most to stay socially connected?

  • Tip 1 [attend a church, small group, or family gatherings]

  • Tip 2 [volunteering in community programs]

  • Tip 3 [limit electronic usage for human connection]


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