137. The Importance of Social Connection: Why Social Connections are One of the Most Important Things You Can Do for Your Health with Heather Hausenblas, PhD

Do you consider yourself to be an introvert?

I do too!

But, did you know that a lack of social connection can be incredibly detrimental to our health?!

In today’s episode of the Live Diet-Free Podcast, I sit down with Dr. Heather Hausenblas to dive into the importance of social connection on our mental and physical health (some of the research is going to blow your mind!), as well as offer actionable tips for fostering connections in the midst of our busy lives.

You can listen to the episode here…

Or keep reading the post below:

Physical & Mental Health Effects of Social Connection

In recent years, we’ve learned of the negative health effects of cigarette and tobacco use, but would it surprise you to learn that a lack of social connection could be similarly detrimental?

Current research equates the health effects of lacking social connection to the effects of smoking 15 cigarettes per day.

Additional studies have found that social connections positively impact quality of life, helps combat feelings of loneliness, and in some cases can even increase life expectancy.

For all of these reasons and more, I knew it was important to include Comprehensive Support as one of the pillars in my Gone for Good framework.

Having a community of likeminded individuals and people who are already living the life you want to live will increase the likelihood that you will see success in creating lasting change in your life.

The importance of social connection can not be understated when it comes to the impact it has on your physical and mental health.

Fostering Relationships in Adulthood

It is not uncommon to drift apart from previously strong social connections as you age and it can feel difficult to rebuild those relationships or create new ones in adulthood.

A step you can take to rebuild relationships is by simply being the one to reach out. With social media at our fingertips at all times, there’s no reason to avoid sending a message just to say, “Hey! It’s been a while and I just wanted to see how you’re doing.”

You may not get a response, but more than likely you’ll reopen a door you may have thought was closed.

If you find yourself in a position that making new friends would be a healthier road to take, consider joining a social group with similar interests. Group exercise classes are excellent places to meet people who are on similar health and wellness journeys, but you can also find groups for other hobbies you may have as well.

Social Media & Connections

As we previously shared, social media can be an excellent tool to foster relationships, however, social media alone can not fill all the needs of social connection.

Creating and fostering relationships via social media is a step in the right direction, but it’s important to not get so wrapped up in those relationships that you abandon the idea of creating in-person connections.

An every day in-person connection that you may not realize is often abandoned in favor of social media or busyness is family meals. Dr. Hausenblas suggests that mealtimes be screen free for this reason.

Not only can it help parents be more present with their kids, but studies have shown that kids who have family meals end up performing better in school, having a larger vocabulary, and being overall healthier.

Being able to put away the phone allows for casual connections as well. Think the exchange you have with the grocery store cashier, your barista, the other mom in the doctor’s office waiting room – all of those are opportunities for casual connections that can positively impact your mood.

Once you realize the importance of social connections, it’s time to start finding a way to create those in your life. If you are looking for a community that nurtures deep relationships with women who understand you and want to see you succeed, even if you don’t have support in your “real” life, consider joining us in Gone for Good.

You can check out estheravant.com/coaching for more info.

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If you are loving this podcast, please subscribe, rate and review! This helps even more people discover how to change their lifestyle, lose weight and live diet free.

And as a special thank you, if you send me a screenshot of your rating and review, I’ll send you my Weekend Survival Guide for free. This guide is typically only available to my clients, so you know it’s good!

Send your screenshot to admin@estheravant.com with the subject “Podcast Review”.

Thanks for listening!

Connect with Esther

And if health weight loss is the area that you’re struggling in, please reach out to me, talk to our team, we can help you with this.

About the Show

If you’re tired of gaining and losing the same weight, feeling like you’re the only person out there struggling, and want to learn how to lose weight and live your healthiest, happiest, and most confident life – without perpetual dieting – this podcast is for you.

Fitness industry veteran, certified personal trainer, sports nutritionist & coach, Esther Avant, will help you learn how to enjoy the process of truly changing your lifestyle and guest interviews will help you realize you are not alone in your struggles.

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