Image by Jackie Parker via Unsplash

When I reflect on the importance of a robust support system, I recall the lyrics to Hezekiah Walker’s song I need you to Survive. This music brilliantly describes what it means to have a solid support system because no single one of us is an island, and we all genuinely need each other to survive. Research has shown that having a reliable support system has many positive benefits, such as higher levels of well-being, better coping skills, and healthier life. Studies have also shown that social support can reduce depression and anxiety.

Part of life is experiencing ups and downs, and in moments like this, we want people who understand us and can be depended upon during tough times. We need people who will listen to us and give us honest feedback. It’s vital to make a conscious effort to surround yourself with positive and trustworthy people who can walk through your triumphs and struggles with you. Your support system should be encouraging, care about your life goals, and have your best interests at heart. When you have that kind of support system, you’ll be more likely to reach your goals and persevere through hardship. But these relationships have to be nurtured to reach their full benefit.

The goal of social support is to decrease stress. If you are looking to reduce stress by developing a support network, start with people already in your life. A few years ago, I was in dire need of a physical support system and was confused about how to go about finding one, not realizing that all I needed to do was look into my existing relationships. Having found one I could trust completely, I was honest about why I needed their support. When opportunities came along for me to support them, I do not hesitate because we all need each other to survive the realities of our world.

A word of caution, though, there is a maxim that says that ‘familiarity breeds contempt,’ never get to the point where you get too familiar with your support system and begin to disrespect their personalities or the purpose of the support system. Instead, keep the relationship a mutual and respectful one where both parties feel encouraged and lifted.



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Folayemi Emoruwa

Folayemi Emoruwa

Freelance digital/social media marketing expert; Business Enthusiast & Environmental Scientist by profession.