Social support is one of the greatest predictors of mental wellness. This doesn’t mean you should host a rager every weekend or throwback one too many with your crew throughout the week. While you’re welcome to do that — “do you, boo” — there are many ways to make sure you’ve got the support you need. And golf is a really great way to do that.
Golf is an incredible sport for many reasons: the skill, the precision, the competition. But most of all, it’s a great way to get together, spend some time in the great outdoors, and have a little fun. Whether you’ve got a regular foursome you play with, rotate playing partners, or roll the dice by scheduling a solo tee time, spending time around other humans is good for the soul.
Plus, studies show that cultivating social networks is great for the body and mind. Forming bonds can improve your ability to cope with stress, promote lifelong good mental health, and even enhance your self-esteem, and even lowering your cardiovascular risks.
Some golfers prefer to play in relative silence and some spend a little too much time chatting. In order to maximize the benefit of the social connection in golf while balancing the actual golf part, think of what you need for that round that day.
If you’re going through a tough time, a round of golf with friends is a great way to talk it through without feeling too kumbaya. If you’ve been stressed at work, getting out and talking about nothing of importance while swinging the sticks can help bring that stress down to a healthier level. If you’re trying to expand your social network, inviting someone new to play a round is a great way to build a new relationship without the pressure.
When it comes to keeping yourself mentally healthy, let golf help!
Dr. Day is a licensed clinical psychologist. She is an Ohio native who completed her Bachelor's degrees in Psychology and Health and Sport Studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio while competing on the Varsity Swimming and Diving team as a diver. She then went on to earn a Master's degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology followed by a Master's degree and later a Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University New England in Keene, NH.
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