As an introvert, I’ve always had a problem with keeping up with people. I don’t want to blame my knack to hide in a corner because I know having a social circle is super important.
Even though I’m an introvert, I inherently know that humans are social people. Since the beginning of time, people have gathered together to congregate, mate, hunt, and thrive in social groups. Anyone who was separated from the group would be in danger of facing the harsh wilderness alone, and eventually dying. Not only do social circles give us the skills to live together, but it also gives us a sense of identity. Here are a few of the benefits of having social connections in a world that seems to be more and more isolated.
Improves Quality of Life
You should already be excited without having to read this paragraph. You already know how it feels. Remember when you had to move to another state, but didn’t because you’d lose your friends. Being around you know boosts the quality of life in comparison to being alone. Studies have shown that social connection is a greater determinant to life than smoking, obesity, and high blood pressure.
Boosts Mental Health
If you’re down in the dumps, the worst thing you can do is be alone. Having a friend increases mental health in terms of a sense of belonging, reduced stress levels, improved self-worth, and many other benefits. People who have perceived loneliness are more likely to suffer from mental health disorders including anxiety and depression.
Not only does having friendship help with your mental health, it also provides benefit to your physical health. A review of 148 studies show that individuals who have social connections have 50% increased likelihood of survival. It also provides a lower statistic in the rate of suicide when it comes to having social connections. Relationships play a crucial role in diminishing suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
How to Grow Your Social Circle
This section could be a blog post all to itself, but I’ll give you some actional ways to increase social connection. If you’re feeling a bit lonely, and don’t know where to start try starting from within. What are your interests and hobbies? What type of people are you comfortable to be around? From there, share your interests with the group. Get active within your community by going to different events, or volunteering. Meetup is a great website to start.
Remember that growing your social connections is much like working out. If this is new, know that it isn’t instant. Hopefully, you aren’t looking for instant gratification because your new friendship might just start with small talk and a cup of coffee.