5 Ways to Strengthen Your Support Network
By Alicja Patela
The emotional support of a friend, loved one, trusted mentor, or peer can really make a difference during difficult moments or a crisis. When you are feeling alone or need to vent, leaning on your support network can help you better cope with all the different emotions you may be experiencing. Having a strong support network in place is also a vital step in getting help and moving forward. Here are a few ways to “supercharge” your support network.
Create a Circle of Trust
It doesn’t matter how many people you have in your support network, as long as they are individuals who you know you can always trust and count on—no matter the situation. Take a few minutes to identify the people in your life that you can always confide in, be 100% honest with, feel comfortable around, and can contact at any time.
Maintain a Healthy and Positive Outlook
Sometimes you may not even be aware that certain friends or family members can be bringing you down. Surrounding yourself with positive influencers who motivate you to be your best are also the people who genuinely always have your best interest at heart.
Strengthen Communication Skills
During difficult situations or when you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s natural to shut down and not want to talk anyone about what you’re going through –but keeping your emotions bottled up makes it harder for your support network to help you. If you can’t verbalize your emotions, try to find another outlet to express your feelings so that you don’t shut out those closest to you.
Keep an Open Mind
Listening to and following the advice of others is a lot easier said than done, but keep in mind that outside guidance and support genuinely comes from a good place. We may not necessarily agree with the advice we were given, but staying open-minded and receptive to outside perspectives and opinions can also help strengthen your support network.
All relationships take work and it’s the truly meaningful and special ones that make all the effort worth it. The people in your support network will stick with you through thick and thin, but it’s also important to remember that friendships and relationships are a two-way street. Take a few minutes to express your appreciation for the continuous love, support and smiles that these special individuals bring into your life every day.