9 Ways to Improve Your Social Health

I’ve always loved the World Health Organization’s definition of health. They define it as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” It’s such a great definition because it highlights the fact that health is about the quality of your life, not just waking up and surviving another day. 

Health is about balance and that includes your body, mind AND your social circles.  And I love that it includes your social health because I think it’s often overlooked.  Just think about it. If you are the most physically fit person in the world but you are unkind to those around you, you aren’t living a healthy life. Or if you have 5% body fat and a set of abs that look like Michelangelo carved them out of stone, but you are sad or even hate yourself…you aren’t healthy at all. 

I often say “When you get to the end of your life, you aren’t going to wish you had worked more.” This same thing is true for money and things…none of that stuff matters when you boil it all down. But if you are like most people, if you stopped and thought what in your life is most important to you (usually people/family/relationships) and then compare them to how you spend your time, you will likely be shocked at how much they DON’T line up.

A while back I did that very thing in a very strange and somewhat morbid way. I had a friend of mine ask me to draw my own tombstone on a piece of paper. My tombstone included the date I was born, the date I thought I would die and what I wanted my tombstone to say. The point of the exercise was to uncover what was most important to me long term. I took this little exercise seriously and it turned out to be a very eye-opening experience. I realized that the things I cared about most in life were my kids, family, and friends. But when I looked at how I spent my time…my work, career and financial goals often took priority in with my time, thoughts and attention. A major disconnect and VERY unhealthy.

Now I said all that to give you a few quick tips to help you improve your social health. None of them are mind-blowing or even my original thoughts, but they are good reminders to help you keep your priorities in line and your life in balance.  Enjoy!

  1. Be friendly: If you want friends, be friendly.
  2. Listen: God gave you two ears and one mouth. Use them proportionally.
  3. Turn off the TV: Especially if someone is trying to talk to you. (most of it is crap anyway)
  4. Put your phone down: It’s OK to be unavailable. You aren’t the President.
  5. Make your real life awesome: Your FAKEbook life should never be better than your real one.
  6. Be patient: You never know what someone is going through.
  7. Do something fun: Go out and experience things. Try something new.
  8. Random Act of Kindness: Do something kind for someone without expecting anything in return. Sometimes it’s the smallest thing that can change someone’s life.
  9. Say “I love you”: Always tell the people you care about that you love them. Life is short. You will never regret saying it but you may regret not.