Emma Ylagan. 01/28/2023
In modern society, it’s of utmost importance to have a positive attitude and good mental health. Depression and anxiety are very real, affecting millions of people worldwide everyday. A possible contributor to poor mental health is not being able to talk to people or lack of social skills. In relation, a possible solution for maintaining a good mental health is by developing social skills.
What is mental health and why is it important to have a positive outlook?
The definition of mental health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”. Having good mental health indicates emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mental health is crucial in many different aspects. It affects how we deal with stress, think, feel, and act. Poor mental health can lead to depression, which can even result in suicide or drug abuse. According to research, social skills may play a key role in preventing it.
What exactly are social skills and what role do they play?
Social skills are skills we use to communicate and interact with each other, both verbally and non-verbally, through gestures, body language and our personal appearance. According to skillsyouneed.com, social skills can help build better relationships, which, in the long run, helps reduce stress and boost self esteem. In addition, it also increases overall happiness. Indirectly, social skills have an impact on health through stress and loneliness. In fact, a leading cause of depression is long term loneliness or isolation. People with poor social skills often experience stress and loneliness which potentially develops a risk for compromised mental and physical health. The increasing loneliness and stress can escalate into mental disorders. Talking to more people and socializing ultimately leads to better mental health rather than isolating yourself or not talking to as many people. In fact, a study surveying 775 people with ages ranging from 18 to 91 showed that poor social skills can actually be harmful to health in general.
In addition, the more friends or time spent with other people is a huge contributing factor to a positive mental health. Having someone to talk to about how you feel is very important. It helps you let out how you feel and also helps you relate to people. Building social skills and making friends is important throughout life. A quote that highlights this can be “Our mental health depends on us being able to verbalize our feelings and emotions without the use of violence.” One of the most important parts of being human is “having the ability to communicate your feelings and emotions”. Based on research, people who actively decide to improve their social relations often report becoming happier. A good social circle is a key to overall happiness. According to another study made in 2008, knowing someone who is happy makes you 15.3 percent more likely to be happy yourself. When a friend of yours has a happy friend, it increases your own chances of happiness by 9.8%. If a friend of yours has become happy in the past 6 months, you are 45% more likely to be happy. In conclusion, not only is having friends around you an important factor, but also having happy friends, or ones that can at least cheer you up.
There’s a difference between extroverts and introverts in the sense of socializing. While an extrovert is an outgoing, overtly expressive person, introverts are more shy and quiet. While being introverted is usually not a problem, or can even be better than being extroverted in the sense that they tend to be more observant and understand social behavior, they are also more likely to have depression and even anxiety. This can be because they tend to have a greater sensitivity to feelings and emotions and also may not have people to communicate with. Overall, introverts are more vulnerable than extroverts.
There are many different approaches to improving social skills, but mainly, it is simply talking to people. Finding people who have common interests for topics as simple as games can lead to friendships, which can also lead to overall happiness. Joining clubs with people who have shared interests can be a way to meet new people. Replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts and let people know how you feel.
In conclusion, social skills and mental health have a correlation in the sense that poor social skills can be related with poor mental health. It’s important to learn to socialize and make friends for your mental health.
Cover Photo: (cmuse)