Sharing Life with Others Encourages Good Health
Even people blessed with the most fortunate lives experience difficulties. In many cases, it is not the issues themselves but how they are handled that matters. Having a strong support system makes it easier for us to deal with our problems. Without having others to share our life with, we are left to grapple with issues ourselves. It is sometimes difficult to effectively handle issues when we are immersed in them.
Did you ever have a problem that you could not easily resolve no matter how hard you tried? Your first step after trying to solve the problem yourself is to explain it to another person. Often, that individual comes up with a great solution within only a few minutes. While you are left feeling embarrassed at overlooking this easy resolution, that embarrassment is much easier to handle than the frustration of spinning your wheels.
Sharing problems can make it easier to resolve them, eliminating stressful feelings that can negatively affect health. In addition, sharing is much better than keeping problems bottled up inside, which can impact us mentally, emotionally and physically. However, difficulties and bad news are not the only things to share with others. Good news and positive feelings should also be shared. Not only does this reinforce our self-esteem and make us more self-confident, the positive feelings can be contagious, lifting others out of their doldrums.
Being able to count on friends and family benefits our health in many ways. The Mayo Clinic mentions social support as one way to combat stress and notes that it is never too early to develop these important relationships. Just knowing that a group of peers, friends, and family members will be there for you when needed makes even the most difficult days easier to handle.
If you have not yet created your support network, begin today. Have a brief conversation with a neighbor or take a coffee break with a co-worker. Make a phone call to a family member or attend a church service and discuss the importance of the sermon with fellow churchgoers. Do not sit back and wait for other people to initiate contact. Take the bull by the horns when you meet someone who could wind up being a good friend.
Many of us go through a trial and error phase when developing our social network. Some people initially seem supportive but when push comes to shove, they cannot handle weighty problems. Others are only interested in us being there for them, not the other way around. A one-way relationship like this can actually increase our stress level because we are always making the effort.
Individuals who share life with a network of supportive people have a sense of belonging. Knowing that others call you a friend increases your sense of self-worth. The social network also provides a feeling of security by offering advice, guidance, information, and other assistance when needed. We are comfortable knowing we have people to turn to who will help us through difficult times.