Social connections and relationships affect our physical, mental and emotional health. In fact, social connections are the single most important predictor of our happiness. Health-related measures like heart rate and blood pressure improve even with short positive social interactions. Here are some ideas to help you develop and improve the social connections in your life:

Get Socially Connected

  • Volunteering to help others improves health, increases happiness and allows you to meet new people
  • Seek out opportunities to increase social connections at work
  • Reach out to community resources for volunteer options
  • Join a spiritual or religious group
  • Adopt a pet or help at a local animal shelter to connect with other animal lovers
  • Go to a local sports event, music performance, lecture or art display
    • Find groups (online or in the community) of people who share your interests– try or Facebook groups
  • Help organize community events by joining a steering committee or board
  • Take classes at your local library or college

NOTE: While technology can improve social connectedness in some cases, research finds that those who use social media the most are at greatest risk for depression. Be careful about using technology too much to support social connections in your life.

Strengthen Your Social Connections

  • Be positive while connecting with others
  • Share your experiences
  • Spend time with others
  • Be present for those who need you
  • Be excited and supportive about what others are doing in their lives

The Lifestyle Medicine approach centers around six core Pillars


Healthful eating of whole, plant-based foods that are rich in fiber and nutrient dense. We help you step by step on your healthy eating journey so you can enjoy, adapt and explore new food choices.



Exercise is an essential piece of the optimal health equation. The resources we offer through Bellin Fitness Centers will help you create and achieve your physical activity goals that fit your lifestyle.


Stress Management

Everyone experiences stress. How you think about it and react to it makes the difference in how it impacts your overall health. We partner with you to determine a plan of action for stress reduction and management.


Avoiding Risky Substances

Setting goals around substance use is a great way to start making changes. Treatments often take time, different approaches and many attempts. We will coach you to work toward your goals and help you connect with different treatment models.


Sleep Health

Sleep is an extremely important part of human health. Setting goals around sleep health is a great way to increase your sleep quality. Our medical staff is able to identify dietary, environmental and coping behaviors to improve sleep health.


Healthy Relationships

Relationships and social connections affect our physical, emotional and mental health. We are able to guide/connect you to local resources where you can meet others who are on the same journey as you.