WILD 5 Practice
Social Connectedness
Social Connectedness header

Humans are social animals – being with others is essential to our mental and physical health.

Research shows that people who socialize more often:

  • Live longer
  • Have fewer health problems, such as heart disease or obesity
  • Have lower levels of inflammation
  • Are less likely to have anxiety or depression
  • Are happier overall

How do I kick-start my social connectedness?

The goal is to meet or call at least two friends or family members each day for 30 days.

Meeting face-to-face and spending quality time together are ideal, but when that’s not possible, phone calls are great, too.


Texting doesn’t count.


In our research involving college students, we learned that when students used texting to fulfill the social connectedness part of the program, their connectedness scores didn’t improve. Texting didn’t help them feel more connected to their communities or their families. Therefore, texting does not meet the daily wellness practice of social connectedness.

What might keep you from connecting?

Here are a few challenges you might come across, and tips on how to overcome them:

Stepping out of your comfort zone

Engaging in social connectedness may mean you’ll have to step out of your comfort zone, and that can be a challenge. For example, smiling at strangers on the street or talking on the phone may make some people uncomfortable. If that’s true for you, we invite you to give it a try. The more you practice this, the easier it gets!


Busy schedules can make it hard to find time to connect face-to-face.


Perfection is not the goal.

Be kind to yourself as you begin making these changes. Change can be challenging. If you miss a day or two, shake it off, regroup, and keep going!