Why social support is important (and what you can do to get it)


One thing I have learned over the last several years is that when I hang out with people who inspire me, I feel that much more inspired. When I’m around people who are positive, that positivity is contagious. When I am with people who lift me up, I feel lighter.

You’ll want to surround yourself with people who really support you and that can lift you up as well. The benefits to you mind, body and soul are amazing.

“Flourishing is not a solo endeavor. It’s scientifically correct to say that nobody reaches his or her full potential in isolation.”

Barbara Fredrickson, PhD

Feeling a sense of community and social connectedness has even been shown to have health benefits. Have you ever heard of the Rosetto effect?  Back in the 1960s, researchers studied a community in Rosetto, Pennsylvania that had a lower heart attack rate than the rest of the country at the time. The reason found was that it was a tight-knit community (of Italian-Americans) who fully supported each other and felt safe around one another.

If you feel alone or not supported by friends (or if friends and family bring you down), here are a few suggestions.

1.   Seek out a group with similar interests. Join a social group, networking group or a support group. Meetup.com is a good place to browse for this, especially if you cannot think of anyone in your current social circle to start with.

Hang out with people you admire and with people with qualities you strive to possess. We often become like who we hang out with; so if you’re striving to be more positive, surround yourself with positive people. If you have a goal to have a thriving business, find people who have already done the things you are aiming to do. If you want to obtain a PhD one day, speak with someone in graduate school or who has completed school. Wanting to become more physically active? It doesn’t serve you to have couch potato friends. 

2.   Volunteer. You can meet others with similar interests while helping a cause you are passionate about.  Also, volunteering and helping others have been shown to have amazing psychological effects for the person helping – so it is not just beneficial those being helped!  Showing compassion for others can also bring positivity in your life.

Remember, once we feel good, that energy multiplies and people with whom we come in contact are affected as well.

 3.  If you feel that someone’s negative energy is starting to weigh on you, one thing you can do is think of at least three positive aspects of that person and focus on these traits. (We are all brought together for a reason even though we may not know what the reason is.)

So, forgive, let go, remember that their behavior is not about you, and begin to feel the inner peace that comes along with it.

It’s okay to let go of relationships that you feel bring you down, drain your energy and no longer serve you. Think about your goals and make a conscious effort to surround yourself with people (and things) that support your vision. Remember, the mind, body and spirit are inseparable. Your well-being will thank you.

Stuck  or fearful to get out of your comfort zone?  Reach out to me for a free call; I am here to support you!

Nancie VitoComment