Friday, May 31, 2024

The Power of Social Support

We all know that having a strong support system can make a world of difference in our lives. Whether we are facing challenges or simply need someone to confide in, having people who support and care for us can greatly impact our overall well-being. Recent studies have shown that social support not only helps us cope with tough times but also plays a vital role in promoting mental wellness and protecting against distress. This is especially significant for individuals who have experienced trauma. The power of social support should never be underestimated, especially in times of hardship. It has proven to be a major factor in aiding individuals in recovering from difficult events.

There are three main types of social support:

  • Emotional support involves providing trust, empathy, love, and care for the person seeking help. This type of support can help individuals feel less alone and improve their overall sense of well-being.
  • Instrumental support, on the other hand, involves providing practical assistance. This can include financial aid or help with daily tasks, which may be essential for those with immediate needs. Studies have shown that instrumental support is associated with a lower risk of suicide death. 
  • Informational support involves offering advice and guidance. This can help individuals make informed decisions and access appropriate resources for coping with their trauma. 

Studies have shown that those with larger social networks and those who feel supported experience less reactivity to stressors and have better mental health overall. This supports the "stress-buffering hypothesis," which proposes that having strong social support can help reduce negative thoughts and beliefs following a traumatic experience. Essentially, social support acts as a shield against stress, making traumatic experiences seem less impactful while providing valuable coping resources.

Whether it comes from a romantic partner, family member, close friend, or support group, having reliable and effective social support has been identified as one of the most significant contributors to overall well-being. So remember, never underestimate the power of social support - especially in times of hardship. Make sure to prioritize these relationships and lean on them when needed. They could make all the difference in your journey towards better mental health.


If you believe change is possible, you want to change, and you are willing to do the work, you absolutely CAN get your life back.”

Get your copy of The Soldier's Guide to PTSDThe Soldier's Workbook

or Acknowledge & Heal, A Women's-Focused Guide to PTSD

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