• Jasmine Blake Hollywood, MS, HHP

How Does Isolation Affect Social Wellness?

Updated: Apr 24

Social Psychology

The way people are affected by the interactions of others is the scientific definition of social psychology. Whether we are affected negatively or positively, the interactions we have with people are completely relevant to each of our lives and how each of us grows as a whole. Being social shapes our lifestyles in a way that makes us feel like we have a purpose. Therefore, being able to interact with other humans beings is essential to help us make sense of the world around us, help us sculpt our futures, and help us become who we're meant to be.

Having a Tribe is a Sense of Belonging

Wellness is all about being healthy. It's about eating healthy and ensuring we nourish our bodies. It's about getting adequate rest and keeping our circadian rhythms in check. It's also about being physically fit and maintaining our structure. Lastly, it's about refraining from a stressful environment. Above all however, being healthy is about having a sense of belonging.

When a person feels like they belong, they feel welcome and loved. Overall, a sense of belonging gives us as individuals a sense of connection. This is especially true if we feel we are in the right social setting. As well, having this connection makes us feel secure and supported. We feel important, we feel accepted, and we feel a sense of inclusion and community. A perfect example, of this social interaction, is having a group of friends or being a member of a special group of people.

When people are in groups, they feel a sense of belonging.

When we are in a certain group whose members make us feel comfortable, we relate and have positive social interactions. As I mentioned before, social interactions help us grow. This reason is that our groups describe our culture, our personalities, and our social contributions. Additionally, many people may refer to their groups as clicks or possies, but in a traditional sense, our chosen group is actually our perfect tribe.

Defining Social Wellness

Well-being is defined as the state of being comfortable, satisfied, healthy, and happy. [6]. In other words, you could say, to have a tribe that makes you feel like you belong is a natural state of well-being.

Wellness, on the other hand, is a deliberate state of being healthy in body and mind that eventually results in disease prevention and a prolonged life. [7]. I suppose this could technically mean we deliberately put ourselves in groups; and if that setting is our tribe, then that tribe can help us remain healthy.

Social Wellness is about balancing your physical, emotional, and spiritual health; and it's characterized as having friendly companionship and people to connect with. We are meant to have healthy relationships among people we know or people we are bound to meet, and we are meant to keep those relationships. Ultimately, when we have healthy relationships, we are socially balanced. This is especially true when we are with our tribes.

Being social is having the confidence from within to communicate outwardly, and the courage on the outside to accept things inwardly. Tribes help us do this best!

Social interaction to promote wellness is important due to a number of reasons: 1) it is healthy to speak to other people, so we can learn how to interact; 2) when we are around other people, we also learn about our likes and dislikes, in addition to theirs; 3) it's a necessary evil to have to physically be in contact with another human being to experience emotions; and 4) social wellness enhances our mental state of well-being.

The Risk of Being Unsociable

To be isolated for any reason at all has an effect on our overall health. More importantly, isolation imposes social risks that actually extend far beyond the physiological aspect of our existence. For example, being isolated from our normal social routine due to quarantine can set off a chain of events that can affect our futures and how we make sense of the world around us. In other words, being socially isolated messes with our minds.

By taking physical connections away, we take away a piece of all of us.

One of the major risks of being isolated is, that an isolated environment can make us feel emotionally and mentally violated. It makes us feel lonely, segregated, worried, and confused. This is even true, even if we see other people on video. This reason is that deep down in our minds, we are still, essentially alone. A consistent negative state of mind like this can interfere with our sleep quality and quality of life. In fact, being emotionally and mentally unbalanced can also cycle back around physically. This can introduce new emotional and mental states of illness including anxiety, depression, and even cognitive decline.

Isolation from social interaction can also pose a threat to how we view reality. The way a person views reality is imperative to their mind-set and how they accomplish life goals. This reason is that being socially isolated can cause new avoidance behaviors, false beliefs, and false perceptions. More importantly, having a clear perception of reality can help us understand social perspectives a lot better and help us to be able to distinguish if we belong in our current setting.

Seeing the Bigger Picture

Seeing the ‘bigger picture’ of what social wellness means for ourselves is crucial for maintaining our sense of belonging. We must understand when we are isolated, we have been officially separated from our tribe. This means, whether we know it or not, deep down inside we now feel insecure and unsupported. Essentially, we have been removed from our community of like-minded individuals.

Once people can get a clear image of the bigger picture, people can move forward and evoke their social setting. For example, people can learn new talents. However, to do this they must envision they are not alone. As well, they would need to practice the act of modifying their personal behavior. Practicing newly learned talents helps remove the strain of stress of being in an isolated environment. However, implementing change and trying to modify our behaviors can be intimidating when someone is isolated. For this reason, it is imperative to find a topic of interest.

Finding a topic of interest can influence people to feel like they belong again and find peace. When learning new talents a topic of interest can be learning a certain dance routine or physical activity. It could be learning a new language or subject of academia. It could even be expressing creativity through art or cooking. Many people who find a topic of interest are able to free themselves from the thought of being isolated. This makes them successful in finding a new tribe because this initiates the meeting of new people.

Meeting New People

Meeting new people brings people to close together again. It can be the way to a new tribe because we are now feeling sociable. Remember, in an isolated environment, the best way to manage social wellness is to become social. In fact, meeting new people can help bring back the feeling of connectedness. It can also help us downshift to a more harmonious state of mind, help us restore balance, and release personal stressors.

People love interacting with new people. Therefore, meeting new people will actually improve confidence and self-efficacy, which is equally as effective. Meeting new people reduces social risk. [5]. Additionally, meeting new people will also enhance an individuals' perception of positive interactions.

Failure and Changing What is Within Our Control

Whether changing for the better good or because are forced to, one has to be willing to accept the saying, "Where you falter the most, is where you will be most successful."

Therefore, if a person is feeling isolated, being willing to make changes in their own behaviors is the key to feeling free. Realistically, most people will fail first before they become successful. This is because we learn best from our mistakes.

Ultimately engaging in new learning o