Is Social Wellness Important?

Updated: 5 days ago


Defining Wellness


I thought I'd define wellness just the same as every other professional source. When I searched for definitions and meanings, I found a few different sources. First, I discovered that the Dictionary writes 'well-being' as “(1) a state of being comfortable, healthy, and happy; (2) a state of good or satisfactory condition of experience.” [6].


The same source also writes 'wellness' is “(1) the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind; (2) especially as the result of deliberate effort; (3) and an approach to healthcare that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life.” [7].


I could even argue the similarities and differences between the definitions of well-being and wellness. Nonetheless, in my mind, I wonder about my well-being and wellness together equally. As a health guru, I define wellness as a state of well-being. It is something an individual does to enhance their physical body, thought of the mind, and even inner spirit.


Is Social Wellness Important?


Social wellness is important because of a number of things.

  1. It is healthy to speak to other people, so we can learn how to interact.

  2. When 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.

  4. Social wellness enhances our mental state of well-being.

The Risks of Being Social


There are risks in being social. However, are these risks only physical-based? There are also the perspectives of being able to understand, distinguish, and realize what is within our reach in our own reality. This can affect mental and emotional feelings within us in addition to our physical attributes. We need these perspectives and sometimes, it's a risk we must take.


Social wellness and the behaviors we experience and learn affect us in our personal lives. It also affects us in our occupational and lifestyles. It's because of social risks. Without these risks, we wouldn't be who we are. In our minds, social wellness is all about everything that surrounds us, things in our environment, and how we react to these factors. The initiative towards social wellness should be to experience behaviors, take the relative risk, but to resolve our own emotions and change our own behaviors. This can be accomplished by using the Transtheoretical Model.


Models of Wellness


The ‘bigger picture’ of well-being for individuals is the act of modifying their behavior, but change can feel like it should be on an interpersonal level to some people. Changing behavior isn't' easy and the best way people should try to do this is through the Transtheoretical Model. [5]. Although the Health Belief Model (competitor model) and the Transtheoretical Model are quite similar, they have their differences when it comes to changing behavior. This could be why it is difficult to choose between the two of them. [5].


  • The Health Belief Model focuses on risk and self-efficacy, which is equally as effective. [5].

  • In weighing risks constantly, the Transtheoretical Model of behavior change would have been the more probable one to choose. [5]. This is especially if one is taking social risks.


It is good to note that the Transtheoretical Model does focus on an individuals' readiness to perceive. Whether changing for the better good or because are forced to, one has to be willing to accept where they falter most to be most successful. When discussing social wellness, most people are willing to make changes in their own behavior when they feel a behavior they have learned is beneficial. Thus, they perceive this as a change they are ready for.


People should know that understanding different models of change helps strengthen our motivation to make a complete change that we don't perceive as beneficial at first. The more motivated we feel, the more chances of a successful turnaround. We should take our past experiences when practicing change and use it as a futuristic self-care technique. If we use change as a personal tool and strategy, we are able to better understand that adapting to social wellness circumstances, it actually initiates a sincereness of caring for others.


What Exactly is the Transtheoretical Model


The authors and researchers of the book Health Behavior and Health Education, define the Transtheoretical Model as “using stages of change to integrate processes and principles of change across major theories of intervention.” [1]. The Transtheoretical Model has six constructs that describe the Stages of Change: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and termination. A person will find themselves in the preparation stage if they plan to take action to make a change and have already taken some steps towards this behavior change.


The question is: Are we ready to do this?

The Transtheoretical Model also has ten constructs that describe the Processes of Change, two constructs that define Decisional Balance, and two constructs that scale Self-efficacy. [1]. A person can find themselves in the Self-liberation process of change if they are making a firm commitment to change their behavior and outlook of society to strengthen their social wellness. Also, most people weigh between the two constructs of decisional balance by realizing the pros and cons of particular changes. Furthermore, they consider between the two constructs of self-efficacy in trying to balance confidence and temptation. [1].


Understanding that no theory can be the sole reason for behavior change, I prefer the Transtheoretical Model of behavior change. This reason is that this is the one model that delves into a person's readiness to perceive as stated above. If you are not willing to develop your interpersonal self or see that change may even be needed, this model will inevitably not work. The positive aspect of this model is “people can apply a common set of change processes across a wide variety of range of behaviors.” [1].

Chosen Wellness Behavior


Social wellness is a significant behavior in our lives that we implement daily without acknowledgment and we need this. Nonetheless, most people are underdeveloped in this area with today's "online age". This wellness behavior is the behavior that I believe society needs to focus on when it comes to making serious societal changes. Although changes need to be made, these changes shouldn't have to distance us as a community of individuals in fear of certain health and economic standards.


When discussing personal satisfaction, the social dimension encourages contributing to one’s environment and community. [2]. Saying hello in the morning, smiling when at your neighbor when walking the dog, thanking someone fro opening the door, and dreaming of being more than we can be are all environmental factors that are part of being a community. Also, it encompasses the degree and quality needed of interactions that will occur with others, within the community, as well as, with health and nature.


This concept helps people essentially and when people come to practitioners for help, we can use these areas as examples to encourage them in strengthening their wellness. Using our experiences is essential to developing others. It is also necessary to restore their health in their underdeveloped wellness areas.

What Exactly is Social Wellness


Social Wellness is about balancing your physical, emotional, and spiritual health; almost similar to the well-being and wellness definitions above. Being social is the ability to have healthy relationships among people you know or people you are bound to meet, and keeping those relationships. Being social is having the confidence from within to communicate outwardly, and the courage on the outside to accept things inwardly.


Social is “characterized by friendly companionship; connecting with.” [4]. The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” [8].This definition confirms there are three certain areas of wellness that need to be mastered to have complete wellness, and ‘social’ is one of them.


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

To triumph the social wellness barrier, a person can conquer it if the person can contribute to their environment and community. This person has to be aware of their impact on the world around them. They need to emphasize their interpersonal skill between others and nature and be sure to stay connected to people on a positive level. Lastly, a person has to actively seek communication with those that are around, without feelings of guilt, and improve the world by encouraging healthier living.

References:

  1. Glanz, K., Rimer, B. K. & Viswanath, K. (2008). Health Behavior and Health Education: Theory Research, and Practice (4th Ed.). CA: Jossey-Bass.

  2. Hettler, B. (1976). Six dimensions of wellness model. National Wellness Institute, Inc. Retrieved from https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.nationalwellness.org/resource/resmgr/docs/sixdimensionsfactsheet.pdf

  3. Miller, G. & Foster, L. T. (2010). Critical synthesis of wellness literature. University of Victoria: Faculty of Human and Social Development & Department of Geography. http://www.geog.uvic.ca/wellness/Critical_Synthesis%20of%20Wellness%20Update.pd

  4. Social. (n.d.). Dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/social?s=t

  5. Stone, D. (2013). The Health Belief Model and the Transtheoretical Model: Similarities and Differences Similarities. Retrieved from URL: http://psychological-musings.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-health-belief-model-and.html

  6. Well-being. (n.d.). Dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/wellbeing

  7. Wellness. (n.d.). Dictionary Retrieved from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/wellness?s=™

  8. Constitution of The World Health Organization (45th Ed.). (2006). World Health Organization. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/governance/eb/who_constitution_en.pdf

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