Your Social Support Network
People are social creatures. We need the companionship of others to thrive. Your social network of friends, family members, and peers can help improve your ability to recover from stress, anxiety, and depression, boost self-worth, provide comfort, prevent loneliness—and be especially helpful during times of stress.
When you experience high levels of stress, and you feel that your emotional health is being affected, it can be hard to know where to turn. This is especially true in our Chinese community. Culturally, we are uncomfortable asking for help. But your social network can have a major impact on your emotional well-being and physical health. Surround yourself with at least a few good friends and confidants. Devote time and attention to develop and maintain relationships. A coffee break with a friend, a phone call to a family member, or a walk during lunch with a coworker are good ways to build social connectedness.
Here are some more tips to build successful relationships
- Get involved. Maintaining a positive bond with someone requires active participation.
- Stay in touch. Answer phone calls. Reciprocate invitations. Let people know that you care.
- Reach out for support. It’s okay to share and ask for advice from someone you trust.
- Be a good listener. Pay attention when your friends are talking. Find out what’s important to them.
- Show gratitude. Take the time to say thank you and express how important they are to you.
- Give back. Be available for the people in your network when they need support.
Take the time to build your social network. It’s a good investment. And you may find that among people you hardly know, one or more can become trusted friends who you can enjoy and rely on in good times and bad.
The Chinese Health Initiative has collaborated with experts in the field of emotional well-being to help you build your support network. Check out these tips, tools, videos, and other helpful resources.
S.T.O.P. To Keep Relationships Moving
When things are important to us, we tend to be passionate about them. But that kind of emotion is often a double-edged sword.
The S.T.O.P. Method
- Stop what you’re doing or saying.
- Take a breath.
- Observe your current emotional state without judging or analyzing, giving your emotions a moment to register and diminish on their own.
- Proceed with an appropriate action when you’re ready.
This method can be a powerful tool to disrupt the downward spiral of a conversation, whether it involves a romantic partner, colleague, or friend. It gives you a moment of breathing space to step out of an emotional cycle, center and calm yourself before continuing.
Often, the S.T.O.P. Method works by itself as a reset button, helping a conversation get back on the productivity path. Sometimes, though, if emotions or stakes are particularly high, you may want some additional strategies for transitioning from the Observe to the Proceed stages.
Enhance Your Emotional Well-Being Webinars
Workshops conducted in Mandarin by clinical psychologists where they outline practical suggestions that can strengthen physical and emotional well-being.
Recordings now available:
- Effective Communication
- Building Strong Relationships
- Enhancing Family Communication Skills
- Boundary Setting
- Bridging the Generation Gap