The power of social connections and mental health is undeniable. Studies have shown that having strong relationships with those around us can lead to lower rates of anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem, greater empathy, and relationships of trust and cooperation. It can also help improve our moods and control our emotions. The importance of human connection is often overlooked in the medical field.
However, it is just as important as exercise and nutrition when it comes to overall wellness. In fact, extreme cases have shown that babies in custody who lack human contact do not thrive and often die. Social isolation has even been used as a form of punishment in some cases. To ensure that people are getting the social connections they need, medical professionals should include questions about social contacts, the number of social visits in a week, and the quality of relationships on admission questionnaires. This information should also be included in electronic medical records. Research has also revealed that loneliness can lead to risky behaviors such as alcohol consumption and dangerous smoking habits.
Therefore, it is important for medical professionals to prescribe social interactions and encourage friendships as part of their treatment plans. In today's world, where virtual interactions are more common than physical ones, human connection is more important than ever. It is not just about the presence or absence of social connections, but also about the temporal and emotional dimension that exists between two people when there is any contact between them. The power of social connections should not be underestimated when it comes to overall wellness. Medical professionals should take this into account when treating patients and ensure that they are getting the social connections they need.