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Social connectedness

13 Sep 2016 -

A recent Australian study has shown that we are more digitally connected than ever with an estimated 87% of Australians accessing the internet every day. There are some huge positives to digital connection with it now far easier to stay in touch with family and friends over Facebook, share photos over Instagram or find and meet new people with the same interests on a whole range of apps and websites. Yet all this great stuff aside, we are now far less likely to actually pick up the phone to talk to someone or make the effort to meet in person.

Social inclusion, or connectedness, is a powerful influencer of good physical and mental health and wellbeing. Those who hang around positive people regularly are more likely to have lower blood pressure, better immunity and lower stress hormone (cortisol) levels. Essentially, you’ll be happier and healthier. Evidence has shown that a positive social network will:

  • Support healthy behaviour patterns and increased physical activity
  • Promote feelings of value, trust and a sense of purpose
  • Improve brain function shaped by positive experiences
  • Below are our top 5 tips for greater social connectedness:
  • Get to know your neighbours – stop to chat, join or start a community garden
  • Try something new – develop new skills in a group or class
  • Volunteer – be active in your community while assisting others
  • Get active – join a gym, play a sport, start a walking group or attend an event
  • Practice random acts of kindness – small deeds go a long way, pay it forward
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