Stress Awareness #5

Counseling for seniors Colorado Whole HeARTs Family Center Colorado

Social connection/support is another way to help with stress. With social support, that doesn’t necessarily mean needing a large network. It can any size that suits you. Now with this tip, it may be important to know whether you are an introvert or extravert and how that plays a role in designing your own social support. The benefits of having a social support network extend beyond stress reducing:

  • A sense of social and emotional support which lets us know we are not only especially during stressful situations
  • An increase in self-worth (Yes, you are amazing to be around!)
  • A feeling of security in knowing that one has access to advice or information and someone to turn to

Designing and maintaining a social support support, can be tailored to your own needs. A great place to meet others is by getting involved in activities that you enjoy doing. If you enjoy dancing, take a dance class. If you enjoy volunteering, find a cause that you believe in and you are more than likely to meet people who share your interests. After crafting your social support, it is important to maintain it. You get out of a relationship what you put into it so stay in touch and connected. It helps to also be proactive about reaching out. A word of caution, be wise about your communication so you are not over doing it or over-sharing. When something amazing happens to someone else celebrate their accomplishment even if feelings of jealous arise. As a counselor, I love to listen to others and hear what they have to say. It is amazing what you can learn from listening and it can even bring you closer to others. Finally, take the time to appreciate friends and family you have. We all love to feel appreciated. On top of making someone else feel good, it helps us feel good to let others know how their kindness has impacted us.

One final word. Craft your social support so it reduces stress rather than increasing it. Pay attention to situations that could drain your energy like spending time with people who are constantly negative or have destructive behaviors.

References and Further Reading:

Mayo Clinic – Social support: Tap this tool to beat stress
American Psychological Association – Stress management: How to strengthen your social support network
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Managing Stress
For those of you who like studies:
National Center for Biotechnology Information – Stress and Social Support

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