The health situation has disrupted our way of life significantly. We saw our world come to a standstill in front of our eyes and the hum of daily life grinded to a halt. Initially, we saw restrictions imposed on large gatherings. Then the same followed for smaller groups. We were limited to connecting with only the people we shared our home with. Even before the pandemic, the feeling of loneliness and isolation affected our society, but now the need to prioritize socialisation is of utmost importance.
“We are social beings, and our brains mature in a social environment.” Says Jana Abelovska, Click Pharmacy health expert. “Humans are by nature social creatures, and we feel better and happier when connected to others. The lifelong learning process and adapting behaviours to become a member of the social world is socialisation.” The basic building block of socialisation is interaction which shapes a child into a human being. It enables him to learn and acquire norms, values, and beliefs of his own culture to become an active member of society. The perception of our self, who we are, is also a by-product of socialisation.
Socialisation is a learning process through which we learn behaviours acceptable to society. We are told what we can do and what we can’t, what is good and what is not. Social norms and values frame and structure our personality as per our culture. Socialisation is culture-specific; people in different cultures socialise according to the standards and values of their culture. An infant grows into an active and acceptable social member by learning to obey rules, being rewarded for doing preferred chores, taught ways to interact with others socially. It enables an individual to participate in a specific social group by cultivating the norms and expectations of that social group.
The social institutions that play a role in this learning mechanism are family, peer group, religion, language, economic and legal systems, and media. It is an ongoing learning process that crafts us according to our circumstances and situations. Socialisation not only prepares individuals for the existing cultures and societies but also transfers everything to future generations as well. The primary goals of socialisation are:
- To teach impulse control
- To develop a conscience
- To enable people to perform social roles
Health Benefits of Socialisation
Socialisation is responsible for the development of the mind, body, and behaviour. It is an important aspect of your overall health and wellbeing. Try to form new friendships and seek more and more social opportunities to benefit your physical and mental health. Take some time out of your busy schedule and try to socialise to refresh yourself. If you want to live healthily, you need to meet people, make friends, attend parties, etc. There are several health benefits of socialisation, for instance:
Improves Mental Health
Human wellbeing depends on the amount of social time we spend with each other. A person should be a part of the community where he lives, socialise with people who share interests, and come together to help improve the world. Every reasonable person should be a moderate socialist. Social interaction is better for your mental health. Making friends and meeting people lightens up your mood, making you happier and more resilient to stress. It helps lower depression as you find an outlet to vent out your emotions in the form of a friend. Nothing is more pathetic than being alone fighting all battles, all struggles, and all worries all alone with just you and your poor soul. Try to hang out with friends, go for a walk with some neighbour, or engage in some sort of social activity. Simply shaking hands with someone releases oxytocin (in your brain) that reduces stress levels. Listening to others and sharing your concerns will motivate you and bring positive energy as you are innately compassionate. A long-lasting close friendship helps prevent mental decline.
Social interaction works to:
- Lower stress levels
- Decrease depression and anxiety
- Enhances self-satisfaction
Improves Physical Health
Socialisation plays a vital role in improving the physical health of a person. Loneliness is responsible for a functional decline in the person. Socialisation works as an antidote to loneliness. Simply, being with others inculcates good habits in us. Being with others, we try to adopt a healthy lifestyle. It boosts immunity, and as your immune system gets stronger, there is a low risk of blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. Social interaction helps generate dopamine in our brain that helps kill the pain. The cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy feel better and report having less pain if there is some social support system. They feel better being around their family and friends, it boosts up their morale.
Social interaction helps to:
- Boost your immune system
- Lower the risk of stroke
- Relieve pain
Improves Brain Health
Social interaction helps improve the cognitive functioning of the brain. The human brain needs socialisation to stay healthy and active. From the day you are born, your mental development depends on your social interaction with parents, siblings, friends, and teachers. As an adult, you build up social networks and engage in social activities that enhance your cognitive skills, improving your brain’s health. Your social activities work as exercises for your brain. Frequent socialisation helps to sharpen memory and prevent mental decline, and there is a low risk of dementia. It boosts up the brain’s cognitive functions and helps in promoting mental wellness. In socially active older adults, the rate of cognitive decline drops by almost 70%.
Social interaction helps to:
- Improve cognitive skills
- Lower the risk of dementia
- Lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
Promotes Confidence and Self-Esteem
Socialisation develops a sense of safety, belonging, and security in you. It works in making you more confident of yourself. The trust you have in others and those who confide in you both promote your confidence and self-esteem. Social interaction serves as a means through which we see ourselves from other’s eyes. We get aware of our positive traits as well as our flaws. The social circle we move in helps to craft a better person out of our self. Being socially active enables us to move confidently in society, and our self-esteem automatically boosts up. Introverts or those less active socially have low self-esteem and are less confident in every walk of life.
Social interaction helps to
- Boost confidence and self-esteem
- Build a clear self-image
- Develop a sense of security
Gives Purpose to Life
A life lived without any purpose is a life not lived; it is simply just days passed. Socialisation gives meaning and purpose to our life. We learn who we are and what roles we are supposed to play. Once we realise our life has a purpose, we try to behave accordingly. Social interaction makes us recognise ourselves as functional social beings. The purpose of life defines our responsibilities towards our self and others. We try to fulfil our duties and prove ourselves as responsible social citizens. The more we engage in social interaction, the greater we strive to achieve our life’s purpose. The energy we invest in fulfilling our purpose eventually improves the quality of our life. Hence, a healthy social interaction gives us a healthy lifestyle and improves our quality of life. As we are social beings, we cannot live alone. It now depends on us how we want to live a socially active, purposeful life or the life of a less confident, low self-esteem socially inactive introvert. Socialisation is a never-ending life long process that ultimately benefits you by giving:
- A purposeful life
- A healthy and quality lifestyle
- A successful life