When people think of health and wellness they tend to think of physical, mental, and emotional health, but there is another area of wellness that is often overlooked or ignored: social wellness, which refers to one’s ability to interact with the people around them and forge meaningful relationships1. People who neglect social wellness often encounter obstacles when trying to make healthy changes in their lives… Why is that?
If you are lacking in social wellness you are often lacking meaningful relationships with people who support you and the decisions you make. This can be an obstacle when you try to make healthy physical or behavioral changes due to the fact that you do not have a strong support system and the people you surround yourself with are resistant to change. When you do decide to make a change, the people who you consider to be your friends may not care that you are making a change, tell you that you cannot make the change, or worst yet hinder your progress because they have the same bad habit or issue that you have. So if you lack a strong support system and want better health consider the following questions:
- Do my friends support my healthy change?
- Do they want me to succeed?
- Do they tell me I can make a change if I really try?
- Do they stand by my decision?
If you answered no to most of these questions, then you seek out people who share healthy common interests with you, people who care about the change that you are making, and people who have succeeded in making the change you desire. On the other hand if you answered yes then you should not be surprised if you have struggled with maintaining your commitment, being consistent and staying proactive by planning your meals and physical activity. By surrounding yourself with people who have achieved similar goals, and people that truly care about you and your health, you in turn have built a strong social support system which will be crucial in ensuring your continued success. Finding people who share your values can be accomplished by visiting your local gym and attending a fitness class, joining a Meetup group that participates in a physical activity like hiking, walking or biking, or simply joining a local walking group. The overall success of fitness classes, small group personal training sessions and weight management groups is no mystery. The accountability, motivation and support that is garnered while in a group has been proven to be very effective in our quest for healthier lifestyles.
Have a healthy week!
Contributors: Kim Farmer and Michelle Beachem of Mile High Fitness. Mile High Fitness offers in-home personal training and corporate fitness solutions. Visit milehighfitness.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org