What You Need to Know About: The Benefits of Positive Social Support

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What is positive social support? 

We all have connections with other people in our lives, ranging from family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, etc. Regardless of what category they fit in, the people who provide positive social support are the people who have a positive influence on your life because they are a part of it.

What are the benefits of positive social support? 

Positive social support is linked with mental, emotional, and physical health. Brain imaging studies have shown that positive social support is extremely important and effective for depression recovery. With reduced isolation and an increased sense of belonging & support, negative thought patterns will diminish. Social support has its benefits even for those without depression, since it can help prevent negative thought patterns from festering too long. Those who have a positive influence in your life will help you find solutions to your problems and show you different perspectives you may not have considered before.
Social connections can also have an impact on your physical health. The habits of those who you choose to surround yourself with can have an influence on your daily behaviors. It is important to associate with those who have a healthy lifestyle, rather than an unhealthy lifestyle, because their influence may impact your daily decisions. For example, if you want to stay fit, having a gym buddy (or a supportive friend who won’t tempt you to go out to eat pizza instead of going to the gym) will help you stay on track and reach your goal. Researchers have also found that not only does the receiving party benefit from social support, but the support-giving party benefits as well. Giving support to someone you care about activates the reward center of the brain and reduces stress.

How can I develop a positive social support system?

Connecting with the right people and keeping negative influences at bay is important in order to develop a positive support system. In addition to helping you develop a positive social support system, therapists can also provide positive support by helping you identify your goals and providing guidelines to help you reach them.
Discover more social support resources in UB’s Wellness Directory.
Click here to browse Urban Balance therapists.