Happiness is a mental state of well-being that is associated with positive emotions and optimistic regard.

We can find happiness by engaging in our relationships and making connections to the others around us. Affiliating with others and increasing our interpersonal connections improves our overall happiness and health.

Several decades of research has supported that social connections are linked to the number of psychological and physical health benefits as well as life longevity. According to recent research, individuals who are socially active with satisfying relationships report having above-average levels of happiness, lower levels of depression and anxiety, as well as an increased ability to cope with stressful life events. To live a fulfilling and positive life, one must strive to be a happy and social individual.

6 steps to be a happy and social person

  • Create relationships: Meet new people! Sometimes you must step out of your comfort zone when meeting new people. It may be difficult at first, but the outcome of a new friendship is very rewarding.
  • Maintain relationships: It is important to preserve close relationship. Close friends understand you better, and can help you out during those tough times. Building a strong relationship with others can improve your general satisfaction, attitudes and happiness.
  • Be funny: Happy individuals use humor to resolve tense or awkward situations. Obviously, it is important to use humor appropriately and accordingly, but it does help improve an individual’s mental health and decreasing the chances of developing a mental illness.
  • Resolve conflict: In order to be happy, you must be able to face and resolve conflicts. Bottling up your emotions can lead to serious health consequences. Being able to negotiate conflict and take accountability for your own faults will improve your social connections and overall happiness.
  • Optimize performance: Positive emotions or happiness helps improve intellectual, social and physical abilities. It improves an individual’s creative and critical thinking skills as well as increases the ability to connect with others.
  • Know when to say no: It’s OK to sometimes need a break from being social and need sometime with just yourself. Recognize the reasons why you need a break and don’t isolate yourself for too long.

Join Seven

Challenge yourself to make YOU a priority! Seven is a free program from Health Promotion and Wellness for students, faculty, and staff that focuses on the importance of the seven dimensions of wellness: emotional, environmental, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual, and vocational. Seven runs from September to the end of April, and you can join at any time. Participants log wellness activities to earn points toward monthly prize drawings and compete toward end of the year overall point totals. Participants also receive the Seven e-newsletter and information on campus wellness events.

For additional details and to sign up, visit Wellness.IllinoisState.edu/Seven.

Ryan Schmidt is a Health Promotion and Wellness intern at Illinois State University.