Do you have close relationships that are a positive influence on
your life? Do you take time to invest in them?
Having and investing in your social connections is an important
component of well-being. Emotions spread quickly from one person
to the next — when you see a friend who is happy, this often
causes you to smile. Because we tend to synchronize our moods
with the people around us, our emotions influence one another
throughout the day. And, not surprisingly, the strongest of our
relationships are those that include shared mutual friends with
other people close to us. Our networks can influence our personal
well-being, so positively investing in them not only improves our
lives, but also those of the people around us.
Taking the time to nurture these relationships is an important
part of our own well-being. Data suggests that to have a thriving
day, we need six hours of social interaction per day. This
includes interaction at work, at home, on the telephone, talking
to friends, or even sending email. Every three hours of social
time reduces the chances of having a bad day to 10 percent, and
each additional hour of social time — up to six hours —
improves the odds of having a good day. People with thriving
social connections have relationships that give them positive
energy on a daily basis.
Boost your social connections. Try these
1. Strive to spend six hours a day socializing with friends,
family, and colleagues (this time includes work, home, phone,
e-mail, and other communications).
2. Strengthen the mutual connections in your network.
3. Mix social time with physical activity. For example, take a
long walk with a friend so you can motivate each other to be
Tools and Resources
2Rath, Tom, Harter, Jim, Harter, James K. Well
Being: The Five Essential Elements, New York, NY. Gallup Press,