Today's most controversial generation is Generation Y. Millennials, or Gen-Yers are surrounded by numerous stereotypes. They are financially-burdened, anxious, and unhappy. According to studies, millennials are also mentally unhealthy.
Gen-yers are changing the way we view mental health. They are more open to talking about mental health are looking into different options to resolve their issues. They use their love for technology in seeking professional help. Millennials make use of mental health apps approved by the experts. But if you are a millennial who is serious about improving your mental health, another strategy worth considering is to socialize more.
Online Social Interactions: the Good and the Bad
Millennials would rather socialize online; they are always on their phone and constantly on social media. It is for this very reason that many employers claim Gen-Yers lack important social skills needed in a traditional workplace.
Even if millennials get invited to social gatherings, many would rather skip the occasion. If they indeed show up, you will often find them with their eyes glued to their phones. Some are probably busy on their social media. Others would be busy exploring the gorgeous hotel ballroom looking for the perfect spots to snap photos of themselves for their next post on Instagram.
While the internet allows you to interact with many people at once, it can also be the reason why your mental health is suffering. For one, you can interact with other people without ever leaving your home. Many millennials are used to isolation since they take advantage of the social interactions they can enjoy online. As social creatures, it is natural to crave real social connections and not just a virtual one. In a nutshell, online social interactions will remain to be superficial and can never beat real-life socialization.
How Socializing More in Real Life Helps Boost One's Mental Health
Developing your real-life social skills will help you improve current relationships and form new connections. This can also help you in your job, as most employers still value interpersonal skills. When you become more comfortable socializing in real life, you can form professional connections that can boost your chances of career success.
We generally feel happier after talking and interacting with others. The happier you are, the better you will feel and more confident you will be. Our physical health also improves when we are happy. This is why loved ones of seniors are encouraged to visit and socialize with them more.
Even introverts would say that sometimes, it is nice to talk to people in real life. They may be more comfortable listening and observing in the background. But that does not mean they can't benefit from real social interactions.
When you talk to someone, you get a better understanding of what the person is trying to tell you. You can observe their body language and those visual cues to better communicate. This helps you respond accordingly, form stronger connections, and build better relationships.
The longer you talk to others, the happier you will get. It is important to note that the quality of the conversation also matters. The more in-depth the talk is, the more gratifying the social experience gets.
Socialization also helps promote a sense of purpose. When you can talk to people and touch their lives, you feel useful. You get to enjoy that feeling knowing your presence alone and comforting words are enough to lift other people up. When we know that other people depend on us, this makes us want to stay healthy and available for more conversations.
How Millennials Can Improve Real-Life Interactions
The first step millennials can take to boost real-life interactions is putting your phone down or keeping it on silent mode. Instead of staying indoors after work, choose to go out with your colleagues or have dinner outside with your friends. Avoid turning down people when they invite you to hangout. During your free time, choose to meet a loved one or two, go shopping or explore the city.
When you're running errands, try to smile more. Stop avoiding eye contact. Make it a habit to see connection. When exercising, go out for some fresh air and invite a friend to go jogging with you. You can also try joining a fun run or dedicate your time volunteering. This way, you can meet new people who have the same purpose, making it easier to interact with new friends.
Millennials can benefit from forming better social connections in real life. It can help you maintain good relationships with your loved ones and the different people in your industry. It will make you feel happier, more confident, and less stressed. Your mental health will improve and you will feel generally healthier. So, instead of prioritizing online socialization, choose real-life interactions more (or as best you can, given the current pandemic situation).
by IC mag Contributors
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline has some proven ways that could be useful in helping your loved ones.
Evidence shows that providing support services, talking about suicide, reducing access to means of self-harm, and following up with loved ones are just some of the actions we can all take to help others.”
We all yearn for love and to be loved. Share love, and remember life is short. Enjoy with those you love and make memories that are worth remembering.
*Disclosure: Jessica G Ferrer is not a doctor or a therapist. To find a licensed therapist in your area, this might help: https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov