|CRDAMC Homepage | CRDAMC Library Phone #: (254) 288-8366 | CRDAMC Library Fax #: (254) 288-8368|
Increase Your Social Support
by Amy Scholten, MPH
Social support refers to a person’s network of relationships with other people. It can be defined in terms of:
Health Benefits of Social Support
Studies have found that social support often plays a role in health and well-being. Many researchers believe that social support can help:
Other Benefits TOP
Other benefits that may be derived from social support include:
Assess Your Social Support TOP
Take a look at your current social network. Assess your level of satisfaction with the quantity and quality of your relationships.
Quantity of Relationships
How satisfied are you with the number of relationships you have and the amount of time you socialize with others?
Quality of Relationships
How satisfied are you in your relationships with family and friends? In the majority of these relationships, do you feel that you are:
How to Find Support TOP
Work on Your Social Skills
Almost everyone can benefit from some type of social skills training. Consider classes, therapy, and books that can help you:
Get Involved in Groups, Clubs, and Classes
Getting involved in activities in your community is a great way to meet people. Here are some ideas:
Get to Know Your Neighbors and Your Local Community
The following are some ideas to help you get to know people in your neighborhood and community.
Take Some Risks
By risking a little, you can gain a lot. Here are some tips to help you:
Join or Start a Support Group
Support groups are for people who share a common problem. Most communities have support groups concerning issues such as divorce, bereavement, single parenting, alcoholism, cancer, caregiving, etc. Consider forming your own group. You can find resources at your local library or online.
Volunteers are needed almost everywhere—hospitals, nursing homes, charities, churches, and so on. Contribute your talents to a cause that makes you happy. Create your own opportunity.
Get a Roommate or Two
A compatible roommate can ease some of the loneliness, as well as share some expenses. Interview potential roommates carefully. If you’re looking for a place to live, pay attention to signs of friendly housing.
Once relationships develop, they must be maintained—something that takes time and effort. Here are some tips:
Get a Pet
Many people find that a pet helps to fulfill their needs for warmth, affection, and companionship.
American Psychological Association
Mental Health America
Canadian Psychological Association
Mental Health Canada
Review of research challenges assumption that success makes people happy: happiness may lead to success via positive emotions. American Psychological Association website. Available at: http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2005/12/success.aspx. Accessed June 2, 2008.
Lyumbomirsky S, King L, Denier E. The benefits of frequent positive affect: does happiness lead to success? Psych. 2005;131(6):803-855. American Psychological Association website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed May 29, 2012.
Mind/body health: stress. American Psychological Association website. Available at: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress.aspx. Accessed June 2, 2008.
Stress management. Social support: tap this tool to combat stress. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/social-support/SR00033. Updated June 23, 2010. Accessed May 30, 2012.
Last reviewed May 2012 by Brian Randall, MD
Last Updated: 5/30/2012