The Importance of a Strong Support System

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

Your social support system is a network of people who you can trust, lean on, learn from and will be there for you during the good times and the bad times. They are people you can rely on emotionally or practically. These people come in all different forms; close family & friends, teammates, co-workers, your pets, online buddies, or health professionals.

‘No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main’ - John Donne (1624)

This famous saying says it all really, we all rely on one another to survive. Not one of us is capable of doing everything; doctors, builders, farmers, teachers… we all work as a society to support each other, and the same goes for your personal network of support. Brigham Young University surveyed more than 300,000 people and have suggested that people who report having an adequate support system tend to live longer, regardless of their health conditions! Other benefits to a having a strong support system include a better ability to cope with stress, feeling like your life is in more control and a higher self-esteem.

Life is full of ups and downs and it’s inevitable that you’re going to have difficult times mixed with happy times. Having a consistent support network means that when you hit the difficult times, you have the right people there who you can depend on and who will support you. It’s important to have people who will listen to us and give honest feedback, the people who care about you the most will often tell you what you need to hear, rather than what you want to hear - that’s why it’s called tough love!

A support network is great for when we need motivation. If you’ve read our blog about going through the stages of change, you will realise how important it is to have people to support you when you want to make changes in your life or you’re working towards a big goal. When you have a support network who know your goals and aspirations, they can keep you accountable and motivated, they don’t lose hope in you and there’s no greater feeling than knowing other people believe in you, even if you don’t believe in yourself. You might reach challenges along the way and a support network will have the resources for you to overcome them, or simply be there to help you get through it so you’re not alone.

Building or growing your support system isn’t always an easy task, especially as we get older and we aren’t involved in school or sporting groups like we were when we were younger. We all have different hobbies and things we are interested in and it’s a great to connect with like minded people, this is a good first step to building your support network. Here are a few different way you might connect with new or different people:

  • Get active with a sporting team.

  • Join a local class - art, cooking, music.

  • If you have kids, get to know the other parents, join parents groups of play groups.

  • Get involved in a local committee - school, sporting group, council.

  • Find somewhere to volunteer.

  • Organise a catch up with your neighbors or a co-workers.

  • Join online support groups. Like Healthful Life Project’s Tribe

  • Find a gym with exercise classes to meet other people.

Everyone deserves to have a network of people who love them, support them, listen to them and cheer them on, on good days and bad days. We believe at Healthful Life Project that the stronger your support network the more likely you are to achieve your goals and live a longer & happier life. This is why we have developed The Tribe, a community of people, guided by health professionals with specific areas of expertise, all working with you to help you feel your best. We would love for you to join us and allow us to become part of your support network.

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