Social wellness is that warm fuzzy feeling of overall happiness — in mind, body, and spirit. So for July, the official Social Wellness month, there's no way Greatist was going to miss out. Sure there are millions of things that make us smile and got our endorphins going, but we picked out 14 surefire ways to celebrate Social Wellness month by — what else? — being healthy.
Check out the picks below and let us know how you find your own happiness in the comments.
1. Talk to a friend.
Put the "social" into social wellness with a bit of conversation. Speaking with a friend and chatting away has been shown to improve quality of life The pleasurable recreational activities among community-dwelling older adults. Onishi, J., Masuda, Y., Suzuki, Y., et al. Department of Geriatrics, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics 2006 Sep-Oct;43(2):147-55.
2. Take some alone time.
Photo: black dog_brown dog
Sometimes life is one constant hum, but a little bit of alone time can calm the brain and even inspire creativity.
3. Grab a coffee (or a cup of caffeine).
4. Go for a run.
5. Volunteer somewhere special.
Photo: Africa Renewal
Volunteering is a great way to help other people, but studies show it's also a good way for us to help ourselves and lead healthier lives.
6. Eat your vegetables.
7. Get some sun (and vitamin D).
Photo: Ham Sughes
8. Go on vacation.
Photo: icedsoul photography
Vacations are meant to make us happier, so get out there (or simply stay in) and soak in the health benefits of some rest and relaxation.
9. Get a puppy.
Cute, right? Well getting a dog might also be the healthiest decision we make all week. A study found that dog owners had lower levels of stress and increased levels of daily activity.
10. Laugh a little more.
Laughter is one of the best medicines out there. Have a chuckle to sleep better, feel better, and even protect against heart attacks.
11. Get a good night's sleep.
12. Nosh some chocolate (but not too much!).
Photo: ulterior epicure
Mmmm, nothing makes us happier than eating chocolate. Sugar-high aside, dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa and up) is actually rich with antioxidants that do a body good. Just remember, chocolate isn't a superfood so don't go cocoa-crazy.
13. Learn to relax a bit.
Inhale, exhale — relaxation is a good way to clear the mind and find some inner happiness. Here are 40 quick and painless ways to reach some inner zen in five minutes or less.
14. Commune with nature at the office.
Plants help create some serious feng shui (Greatist HQ has one on every desk). So buy some green and inhale the good vibes. Just don't forget to water them!
What do you do to stay fit, happy, and healthy? Share your thoughts in the comments below!