Building Support Networks
Build your support network- why is it good to get the support of others?
Why do we find it so difficult to be open about our personal choices to our loved ones?
Picture this. You’re off to visit your parents for the weekend, you’ve got this niggling feeling that things are going to go wrong. And it seems no matter how much you explain it you go back to your old habits when in your old environment. Why does this happen?
What about if you go for a Sunday lunch with the in-laws, but you seem to falter when wanting to decline the dessert. Thoughts rush through your brain, ‘What would my family think?’, ‘What would they say?’
Or you go for drinks with old friends and they disclaim ‘But you never miss a round!?’ You then worry it will open more questions which you’re starting to mentally stamp on already.
Just a few common scenarios that come into my mind. Its situations like these where the benefit of a good support network comes into play.
Wouldn’t it be easier for all if we just communicated honestly? Do you think if loved ones heard your true thoughts on personal health and well-being that they will scoff and reject your thoughts? Highly unlikely right!?
It’s okay to share. It’s okay to actively improve your lifestyle for the better, we should be proud of this. We should be honest and not ashamed or guilty of our enthusiasm to try something new.
As with all things out of our control, we try to encourage you to foster and grow your support networks with positive-minded people. We know it will help with relieving the pressures of everyday life and strengthen mental health. But we can’t do this for you.
Problem shared is a problem halved. Sharing has a beneficial knock-on effect on your mindset that will encourage you to perform better in the face of adversity. Social support helps to inspire happiness during periods of high stress. Not only that, think of the positive knock-on effects you’ll spark if you start such discussions with friends and/or family?? Sure it might be tricky to first mention but this is something that’s not going to go away. The more you sweep it under the rug the more likely it’ll have a negative impact on the relationships in your support network.
So for next time, what do we say in such situations? Useful phrases to get that ball rolling include:
- I’ll pass thanks. I’ve already cooked a lovely meal at home
- I’m proud of what I’ve achieved so far
- I’ve realised I have too many of these things. I’m actively trying to cut down
- Trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle, finding I’m feeling better for it
- No thank you
- explain exactly what this positive change means to you, the pain you are in now and how you want to feel.
Go forth and surround yourself with those supportive people. You’ll soon find that such a network can improve mental health, increase likelihood of success and make you a happier person overall.
Win win really.