The key to better mental and physical health

Facts

Current Social Status Quo

Technology has impacted the way in which we form and sustain our relationships. As millennials have grown up in a world of more efficient digital communication, this has become one of their biggest strengths but could also be leading to a critical weakness. There are an increasing number of reports on lack of confidence in face-to-face social situations - one survey of American millennials by One Poll found that 65 percent don't feel comfortable engaging with someone face-to-face. 

Forbes recently reported that millennials are struggling to read facial gestures and body language which are highly important to social interactions, and simultaneously loneliness and depression are on the rise.

There is a worldwide trend of reduced physical activity driven by use of technology, including driving, television, computer and mobile use.

Benefits of being social

Strong social connections lead to a 50% increased chance of longevity. They strengthen your immune system and help you recover from disease faster. Feeling connected increases brain health and decreases levels of anxiety and depression. It increases self-esteem, empathy and helps people to be more trusting and cooperative.

Social interaction promotes cognitive functioning.

Lack of social connectedness predicts vulnerability to disease and death beyond traditional risk factors such as smoking, blood pressure, and lack of physical activity.

Benefits of The Human Touch - Physical/Face-to-Face Contact

The October 2015 study, "Does Mode of Contact with Different Types of Social Relationships Predict Depression Among Older Adults? Evidence from a Nationally Representative Survey,"  found that having limited face-to-face social contact nearly doubles someone's risk of having depression. 

Researches comparing interactions between the same people online and face-to-face found that people meeting face-to-face formed more positive impressions of their conversational partner. People tend to be happier after face-to-face compared to online interactions.

A study carried out by researchers in China found that face-to-face interaction with family and friends was associated with better quality of life but this was not true for time spent interacting with others online. While social media helps us to stay in touch it needs to be supplemented with face-to-face interaction which leads to an additional feeling of closeness that online interaction lacks.

Even in a world where the pace of technological change is breathtaking, such quintessentially human qualities as empathy and integrity remain vital to success. Studies have shown that face-to-face time is an important part of the socialisation process and have found that it increases sensitivity to emotional cues and helps understand the emotions of other people.

What is Social IQ?

Social intelligence was described as “... the skills that make us effective with other people” by Daniel Goleman, psychologist, science journalist and author of the book "Social Intelligence". 

These skills include: 

  • sensing other people's feelings
  • listening with full receptivity
  • understanding other's thoughts and intentions
  • knowing how you come across
  • caring about other's needs
  • shaping the outcome of social interactions

What is Emotional IQ?

Emotional IQ is the capability of individuals to recognise their own emotions and those of others, discern between feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one's goals.