Nothing is more important than the company you keep. Studies have shown that
having a strong support system has many benefits such as higher levels of well-being, better coping skills, and a longer and healthier life. It is also reported that it can reduce levels of loneliness, stress, depression, and anxiety. As people it's important that we receive the support from others around us and have the ability to reach out if needed. It is not only essential to be supported but to reach out and support others as having a good support system is a two way street.
Having the right people in your corner comes with several advantages such as:
SOCIAL SUPPORT- Without social support, you will start to feel isolated more and more overtime. This is bad for anyone experiencing episodes of any mental illnesses. Having a social circle helps you stay connected to your outer world as well as stay focused on those you love whether you're giving heart to heart advice to a close friend or seeking advice from your family.
VOLUNTARY CHECK-INS- When you're at a low point, it can sometimes be very hard to pick up the phone and ask for help. You may start to isolate yourself from going anywhere and turning down invitations. Whether it's been discussed or understood, the people close to you will eventually express their concerns about your abnormal withdraws. Having positive and influential people there to hold you accountable will keep you on track to making progress on your recovery.
A HEALTHY DISTRACTION- Many people when at their lowest turn to unhealthy practices such as the use of alcohol and drugs to numb any pain they may be experiencing. However, when you have people in your corner that know you well, you have the advantage of indulging in healthier distractions --whether that to you is taking a stroll outdoors with a friend or venting to your therapist.
Having a support system is necessary in order to not survive but thrive in life. If you are struggling with identifying who your group of people are, there are tips to changing that. This includes identifying what you want from a support system, strengthening existing bonds with family members and friends, embracing each others likes and interests, expanding your professional connections, and even finding ways to support and take care of yourself. The important thing is that your support group is supportive. Limit the time you spend with people who tend to take more than they give or if you feel mentally exhausted after each interaction with. While strengthening your close relationships, we suggest on setting healthy boundaries with your loved ones so the support you give and take never goes unbalanced.
Image: Pinterest via FY90sclothestumblr, Abe the Ape
Words By: Jasmine Tate
Additional Resources: Road to Growth Counseling, Talkspace; Highland Springs