How to Build a Personal Support System

Every now and then we all could use a helping hand. Support from family, friends, and others plays a vital role in our mental and physical health.

Benefits of a Personal Support System

Throughout our lives, we all will face challenging times; pain, sorrow, and struggles are inevitable parts of life. The need for a support system is not only to have someone to catch you when you fall, but it also brings out your best when you have an opportunity to help others.

A personal support system can be beneficial for your mental health and overall quality of life. A strong support system can:

  • Challenge you to reach a higher level of success
  • Give encouragment and push you forward in your endeavors
  • Offer emotional support and build your confidence
  • Provide positive feedback and constructive criticism
  • Allow you to easily find help when you feel overwhelmed or burdened
  • Increase your self-esteem and feelings of self-worth

Strengthening Your Support System

One of the secrets to having a happy life is to have positive connections with other people. Here are some tips to help you build a strong personal support system.

  • Take an interest in other people. Make an effort to have meaningful conversations and spend quality time with neighbors, co-workers, and other people you interact with on a frequent basis.
  • Get involved. Join a group or community organization that shares your goals, beliefs, hobbies, or interests.
  • Become a good listener. Personal support systems are two-way streets. Listening tells others that you are geniunely concerned about them and value your relationship.
  • Accept help. Even if you may not need assistance, welcome the help that others offer; don't deny them the great feeling of being useful to you.
  • Swallow your pride. Remember that it is OK to not be OK. Resist the urge to always put up a strong front, and realize that true strength comes from not being afraid to ask for help.
  • Turn to family and friends. Be willing to confide in others whom you can trust. No one can help you with challenges that you don't share.
  • Support others. As the old saying goes, we reap what we sow. Helping others to bear their burdens puts them in a better position to help carry your load.
  • Practice forgiveness. People make mistakes. Some of the strongest personal connections arise when you reconcile relationships instead throwing in the towel. Give others the chance to redeem themsleves.
  • Don't take others for granted. It's one thing to ask for help from time to time; it's another thing to be needy. Use discretion when asking for favors and don't become a constant bother.
  • Pay it forward. Foster opportunities for others and allow them to grow with you. Make your support system a win-win relationship.
  • End toxic relationships. You can't make people change around, but you can change the people around you. Surround yourself with people that appreciate you, love you, and make you feel encouraged.