One of the most common signs that someone is struggling with their mental health is isolation. Anyone suffering from anxiety or depression may have the strong urge to avoid social interactions. People with depression often do not feel like being social at all. The inconsistency of someone with bipolar disorder may lead to them feeling alienated by their loved ones. In many cases, they may believe that they are just better off alone.
This behavior can make it hard to maintain meaningful relationships in your life. It could even cause problems in the workplace. You may often just want to go to your room due to feeling exhausted, just looking for a sense of relief. Although this may feel like it’s going to help, it only leads to boredom and depression moments later.
There are many different levels of social interaction. As humans, social interactions just happen, but some can handle more of it than others. Social interactions can range from small talk with co-workers to an outing or event with ten people or more.
As much as these things can seem like pulling teeth to some, they can help sharpen the brain and help you learn about yourself. For example, you could be experiencing anxiety in places or around people, which may not be as bad as you think. Talking to people you wouldn’t normally interact with can help bring you out of your shell.
Sometimes there are occasions where you need to talk to someone in a coincidental situation. For example, a coworker may make you anxious, but you end up having to work closely with them for a brief time. This accidental interaction can help ease your mind when you realize they are just human.
Although this is easier said than done, there are some baby steps you can take to improve your social interactions. You can start developing your social skills in small ways by engaging with people you interact with daily. If you are out at the grocery store, try responding with more than a one-word answer or ask your own questions. Small steps like these can be the beginning of you interacting more in other areas of your life.
You may notice in yourself or others that too much time alone can allow unwanted thoughts to become more prevalent. In some cases, you may need more than just social interaction for your mental health. Still, that doesn’t mean that interacting with others isn’t great for your mental health. The truth of social interaction is that it benefits mental health.
Interacting with others begins the moment you are born and remains important into your last days. Being interacted with as a child help with brain development, but it also helps older people better handle dementia symptoms. If you struggle with holding or starting conversations because of depression or anxiety, it’s not your fault. It could be a specific environment, person, or situation.
If you find yourself wanting to conquer this problem, then you are off to a good start. The presence of other people who can agree, disagree, learn, or teach is what develops people into who they are. Healthy social interactions can do that for you.
A sense of belonging is important throughout our lives. It starts with your family of origin and expands to your friend group as you grow from children to adolescents to adults. You need to thrive, not just survive. Healthy interactions can help you flourish, reaching your potential in whatever area you strive to succeed.
The person in your life who struggles in social settings might not be a secret. If you notice that a friend or co-worker is at a gathering, and they look like they are shy, there are some things you can do to help them. Depending on how close you are with them, giving them frequent reassurance in these situations goes a long way.
While attempting to speak to them, show them that you are listening, as well. Feeling like you are heard is a comforting feeling for just about anyone. It especially goes a long way with a friend who has social anxiety.
While this is primarily about how to help others with their social anxiety, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Don’t let your expectations get ahead of you, and even though you want to help, you may not get the results you want. If this happens, everything is still fine because you wanted to help and had good intentions. Ultimately, balance is key for both parties to ensure that everyone is mentally healthy.
Mental health has so many different hats. The issues people have with negative thoughts or social interactions are on a spectrum, but they all should be treated with the same care. Simple interactions with people can prepare you for social interactions on a larger scale, or it can just brighten your day for that moment. Either way, it all counts when it comes to mental health. If you are battling anxiety or depression, try to fight that urge you may get to isolate yourself. Be open and honest with your friends about how you feel. If you and your family haven’t quite figured out what works on your own, then there are more options. The Kimberly Center has the staff and the plan to help you get ahead of your mental disorder or substance abuse. We understand where you are coming from and would love nothing more than to see you thrive. Contact us today at (855) 452-3683.