The Importance of a Positive Support System
It sounds easy to surround ourselves with positive people and to live a more positive lifestyle. But, sometimes things out of our control can have us feeling trapped by negative influences. It can be daunting to step back from long-term relationships that may have taken a negative turn since we first entered them or remove ourselves from an entire circle of friends. Our friendships and relationships can sometimes help (or hurt) our mental health, so it’s important to surround ourselves with positivity. Good mental health is essential for realizing our potential and making smart decisions, so paying attention to our psychological well-being is incredibly important.
When building our support system, we need to know what we’re looking for. We should ask ourselves these questions:
- What does support mean?
- What does friendship mean? What should we expect from a friend?
- What qualities and traits would an ideal friend have?
These answers will vary from person to person as we define what support means to each of us.
How Does a Positive Support System Help?
Building a network of supportive people can offer increased accountability, improved physical and emotional well-being, better problem solving skills and enhanced brain fitness. Being accountable to someone else has been shown to be a key factor in making positive lifestyle changes and having them stick. But, accountability works best when reciprocated. When we report our progress to someone else, we should allow our support system to report their progress to us, as well. Support systems have also been proven beneficial for maintaining both physical and emotional health, helping to prevent mental and physical health issues such as depression or cardiovascular concerns. They can increase problem solving skills and create greater flexibility in the brain while relieving stress. Interacting with others can keep our brains sharp. So, we have to find a real-world way to maximize our positive circles, minimize the negativity and surround ourselves with people rooting for our success.
Building A Positive Support System
Reaching out can be hard but also vital to recovery and treatment. This doesn’t mean patients have to share every detail of their mental health journey with everyone in their lives. Patients can share the details they see fit with people within their network. We should consider who we want in our support network first. These will likely be the people we see as being non-judgmental and sympathetic in their daily lives; this bodes well for them to be supportive in our lives. Don’t forget the professionals, either. Many forget that mental health professionals can also be considered a positive support system and overlook them when building their circles. We should consider reaching out to any relevant professionals who can support and guide us to achieving our goals. Other people to consider are those within our work circles. This one may be tricky for many of us. Deciding whether or not to share the details of our illness and treatment with coworkers is never easy. Although mental health has much greater public awareness and recognition than in previous years, there still remains some stigma associated with mental health. Speaking with a professional may help make the decision to speak to coworkers easier. A good support system can help patients find the right balance in their lives during difficult or trying times. We are social animals with brains built for social interaction and engagement in other people’s lives. Joining groups formed around activities we enjoy, volunteering, taking a class, or increasing involvement in the community are great ways to plant the seeds for supportive relationships.
How We Can Help You?
Best Day Psychiatry and Counseling is here to help you have a better day and find a better way. We treat a wide range of psychiatric conditions for both children and adults. Contact us today, we’re ready to help:
Fayatteville: (910) 323-1543 • Fuquay-Varina: (919) 567-0684 • Raleigh: (919) 670-3939