Wellness is a multi-dimensional, interconnected state of being. In fact, every part is dependent on all the others, and this is especially true with mental health.

Above all, mental wellness has a trickle-down effect on every area of life.

On a personal level, when we feel mentally strong, we engage in better wellness habits. Naturally, we have space and energy to connect fully in our lives and relationships. When it comes to investing in those around us, mental health is a necessary piece of social wellness.

On an even larger scale, mental health has a ripple effect on society as a whole. For instance, in the US, nearly one in five adults struggle with mental illness. (1) Even more daunting, half of all adults report high levels of stress. (2) As a result, this sobering statistic led the American Psychological Association to warn:

We are facing a national mental health crisis that could yield serious health and social consequences for years to come.” (2)

The Effect of Poor Mental Health on Social Connection

Social Wellness

Poor mental health has numerous negative impacts on a person’s ability to engage in meaningful social connections.

For instance, common signs of mental illness include:

  • Decreased interest in social activities
  • Low energy
  • Increased irritability that causes problems in close relationships
  • Difficulty engaging in daily tasks
  • Mood swings
  • Pulling away from people
  • Engaging in unhealthy or destructive behaviors

Indeed, it’s fairly easy to imagine how these symptoms might damage relationships. In addition, a person’s ability to contribute to their community and support those around them is unavoidably compromised.

So, all of this is on top of what is already a challenging health crisis for the individual. Just as a person with mental illness or stress depends on close relationships for support, every community and group of people depends on healthy individuals to help it thrive.

In the current situation where half of the adults feel overwhelmed with stress and poor mental health, the effect on communities and relationships is profound.

Building Stronger Social Connections with Better Mental Health

Social Wellness

Caring for mental health is essential for strong social connections. In our fast-paced world, this requires each of us to step outside normal stress rhythms as well as invest in things that help us feel better.

These can include:

  • Being physically active to reduce stress levels
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Practicing meditation or meditative movement
  • Finding activities that bring us joy and laughter
  • Doing something to help others
  • Seeking professional help to manage stress or mental illness

Caring for mental health means not only caring for yourself but also caring for those around you. In fact, when you are mentally healthy, you will be a better partner, parent, friend, and coworker.

Our own choice to prioritize mental health has a trickle-down effect on our relationships and communities. Imagine if you and everyone around you experienced better mental health. As a result, relationships and social wellness would be transformed.