Real Secret to Weight Loss – Part 3 Social Wellness

People watching is one of my favorite things to do. I don’t do it to judge or poke fun at others, but to learn different cues, different body language and see how unique each of us are.  It’s amazing how different we can be, and yet how similar we all are in our core desires to be loved, appreciated, seen and accepted.  We can’t go anywhere without having an interaction with another person, and each one of us comes with our own life story and background. With all our differences it’s no wonder there is so much conflict in the world – especially when people don’t take the time to understand one another.  As much as some days we may feel we’d be content to never talk to another human for the rest of our lives, God designed us to not be alone and has called us to make more disciples.   If we realize that we are all different, yet have the same core desires, it starts the path to understanding and improved social wellness – leading to healthier friendships, marriages, kids, society and your overall health.  So, we have to learn how to handle interactions with others both for our waistline and for our bigger life purpose.

What is social wellness?  It is when you have the skills to socialize, are able to be confident and function in all situations. It’s the ability to understand your role in all conversations and strive to understand the other’s viewpoint, no matter how hard it might be at times.  Our interactions with others have to be intentional and we need to grow in our self-awareness to realize how our actions, words, and attitude impact everyone and our health.  We are all connected in some way, each person we meet, knows 20 other people and they know 20 more and so on.  With each and every interaction with one person, we have the ability to positively or negatively impact hundreds! It’s vital to learn to communicate and exist with others so that we can avoid drama and gossip, and instead inspire others, find joy in our relationships and friendships, spend time with those who build us up, encourage and empower us to walk out our best life and eliminate the social anxiety.  that leads us to make poor choices on food, alcohol, drugs… just to escape the pain of loneliness and separation.

As we neglect our social wellness we slowly remove our selves from people that hurt us and decide to not add others in because of the pain that people cause.  We end up isolated which often leads to depression, loneliness, negative self-talk, and anxiety because we don’t have a support system to encourage us.  Without a social network, we also miss out on the interactions with others that do create joy and health benefits.  Did you know that helping others gives you a self-esteem boost, can make you more optimistic,  empowers you to do bigger and bolder things,  gives you a sense of purpose and that you’re part of something bigger, and many others?

In our world today, much of our social interactions are made on social media.  This type of social interaction doesn’t count because social media allows us to hind behind a screen and only share what is safe and accepting.  True social interactions require vulnerability and “I feel the same way” moments.  It requires us to be face to face with people and see their responses to our words so that we may grow in our understanding of ourselves and others – giving us the influence required to make a difference in others and ourselves.

Personally, this area of wellness is my focus right now.  I’ve learned so much about how my attitude and passion come across to people – and not always in a good way.  I’ve also learned how, when I am using my passion and attitude effectively, my communication has a substantial ability to influence my husband, children, colleague, and customers.  The trick is being a positive influence – even if I’m not in the mood, it’s about learning when to rely on emotions and when not to – but that’s for the next blog!

You’ll be amazed at the impact you can make on your health and the lives of those around you if you focus on strengthening your ability to:

  • Recognize your internal cues to situations and how your reactions impact you and others

  • Learn to love and respect yourself and not live based on the opinions or facebook likes of others

  • Spend time with people that build you up and avoid those who put you down, take but never give and make you feel bad

  • Communicate to learn and influence and not to win an argument

  • Stop criticizing, judging and blaming others. Strive to learn that each person comes with their own set of experiences and are doing the best they know how with their given circumstances

  • Own your part in all interactions – no matter what we do all pay a part in arguments, misunderstandings….We need to listen to understand – NOT think about what we are going to say next

  • Set communication boundaries and stick to them – even if the person we are talking to isn’t (especially if they aren’t)

  • Be Mindful of others – follow through on commitments you make, be considerate of others time, emotions (empathetic), needs and body language

  • Appreciate yourself and others by giving more energy to positives than negatives.  Recognize your genuine gifts and compliment others on theirs.

  • Get to know yourself and your tendencies in interactions with others – the good ones, the bad ones and learn what causes you to be swept away by your emotions and learn things you can do to keep your emotions in check as you realize your real intentions and purpose for all communication

Social wellness is necessary for your health and well-being and is a required part of your wellness/weight loss program.  Not all of us are extroverts or even enjoy being around others much so this may not come easy – it won’t really come easily to any of us as we all strive to ‘get what we want’ – so it will take work, intention, and purpose.  The goal isn’t to change completely today – it’s about making progress, but starting to make that progress today.  So pick something you can start now and build upon it.

Be Completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love

Ephesians 4:2

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