Anxiety and socializing seem not to mix very well. With Netflix, Youtube, and all of the other ways we have to hide from anxiety, it’s easy to forget how helpful social connections are! It feels good to stay in a bubble.
However, connecting with others is a key component of both our mental and physical health – and a surefire way to beat anxiety in the long run.
Why We Need to Socialize
Human beings are social by nature, with the earliest men and women hunting and traveling together, in packs. Now, we live in a society where collaboration and communication are still keys to success – it’s natural to feel extra anxious when we’re not in any social support systems.
Negative Effects of Isolation
We can’t deny, lack of a community can have some pretty negative side effects.
Studies show that a lack of social connection is worse for our health than obesity, smoking, or high blood pressure. We’re taught from a young age to exercise and eat healthy. But no one ever brings up the importance of belonging.
Without it, we become socially isolated, which can come with an increased risk of disease and death.
Connecting Helps Depression and Anxiety Symptoms
As negative as the effects of isolation are, the benefits of being with others are just as important. People who feel better connected have reported lower rates of anxiety and depression.
As a potential mechanism, studies have shown that social connections can lead to higher self esteem, being more empathetic, trusting, and cooperative, and being trusted, as well. Having a community makes you AND those around you feel better.
Our Society’s Loss of Community
Even though having a group you can trust is so important, social connection has decreased over the years. It’s a loneliness epidemic: one study in 1985 showed that most people had three close confidantes, while in 2004, the most common response was ‘none.’
We place an importance on the number of likes you get on Instagram or the amount of comments on a Facebook post, but these superficial connections can lead to a disconnect – they provide no human, contingent interaction, and as such, naturally push us toward anxiety.
Find It, One Way Or Another
Supportiv tries to solve this growing problem by providing a support network at the tip of your fingers. With our unique software that precision-matches you to people who can relate, you not only receive social support, but also provide it.
Studies have actually shown that people can live longer when providing social support to others. No matter how you do it, achieving social connection is beyond-important for your health and happiness, and for the wellbeing of those around you!
Written by: Anisha Makhija