Mind & Body

Is Your Social Environment Negatively Affecting Your Health?

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Although you may not be acutely aware of it, your social environment could very well be negatively affecting your health. If you frequently go out drinking, eating unhealthy meals or taking unnecessary risks with your friends, your overall health is much more at stake than is someone’s who doesn’t participate in these activities.

That isn’t to say that you can never have fun with your friends. Of course, you can. But, the key to remaining healthy is to drink alcohol, eat fat-laden foods and take risks in moderation. If you don’t, your health (mental and physical) will generally start to deteriorate… probably sooner rather than later.

Comparison Issues

For some individuals, their social environment leads to comparison issues, which negatively affect their health. Almost everyone wants to be successful. Right? There’s definitely not anything wrong with that. But, when you’re out with friends who are talking about their most recent accomplishments and even bragging a little, it’s easy to start comparing yourself to others. This can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression.


A big part of one’s social environment is dating. Almost everyone has the desire to meet that one special person who they can spend the rest of their life with. Due to the ever-growing popularity of social media, it’s easier to meet people than ever before… even if you’re a bit introverted.

Dating can have a major impact, health-wise, in the event of an unwanted pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease. It’s important to keep these things in mind before embarking on any type of physical relationship. It’s not difficult to stay safe.

The Role of Social Media

Social media plays a big role in this scenario. For many people, it’s just plain addictive. A recent study indicates that 63 percent of Americans login to Facebook at least once a day. Forty percent of that number of users check their account several times a day. The fact that social media often times glamorizes alcohol and drug use makes it harder for some people to “just say no.”

It’s also interesting to note that many diehard social media users have wider mood swings and are unhappier than users who don’t participate as frequently.

Believe it or not, this addiction is so common that researchers have created the “Berge Facebook Addiction Scale.” This scale uses six types of criteria to measure an individual’s level of addiction. Answering “yes” to 4 out of 6 of the criteria questions indicates a problem.

Unfortunately, some people feel pressured into doing things that their friends do, just to remain “part of the crowd.” Don’t let the same thing happen to you. On the other hand, if you enjoy doing some of these things, you may want to think about slowing down. It’s never too late to take steps to improve your health. Remember, it won’t make you a social outcast. It’ll make you a healthier person and a more cautious friend. What could be better than that?

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