Human beings are, by nature, social creatures. Our need for interaction, intimacy and connection is intrinsic and undeniable. This characteristic is so prevalent that it is believed we develop our social awareness before fully forming a sense of self and individuality. The inter-personal bonds we form feed our need for support while helping us find joy and social fulfilment- both of which are important for overall mental health.
Family and friends are vital components of your overall well-being. They are often at the core of your social interactions. Your family, in particular, forms the first group of people with whom you will interact at your earliest stages of development. From them, you learn how to approach others and form relationships. These lessons then carry over into daily life as you meet people and make friends. However, one thing remains. Your family and friends become your support system as long as those relationships are founded on mutual trust, respect and admiration.
There is a common saying that friends are the family you choose for yourself. This sentiment bears a poignant truth since you often choose to interact with those you identify with most. When you add your relations to the mix, you may find yourself surrounded by a group of people who know and understand you. Therefore, their presence in your life can be very beneficial.
There may not always be a ready or clear solution as you try to work through your problems. Sometimes, the best way to work through challenges is by talking them out. Expressing your dilemmas out loud can have the added benefit of compelling you to order your thoughts. To do so, you need a good sounding board. This juncture is where your friends and family come in. They can lend a listening ear while you sift through your bothers. In the end, just this attention may be what you need to see through the fog to the other side.
Life is not always easy. There may be times when you encounter hardships and setbacks that take a toll on you. Having family and friends you can approach for support is crucial to maintaining your mental well-being in moments like these. When you can have genuine and positive interactions with them, you benefit from getting a more profound sense of existential understanding. In contrast, staying isolated from everyone else may induce negative feelings and responses that can be detrimental to your mental health.
As you move through the world, you get to interact with a wide variety of people from all walks of life. Naturally, these encounters can affect your thinking and character, both negatively and positively. However, your family and friends are the only ones with a baseline to your personality. In addition, they are the most likely to know you best. Therefore, talking to them and remaining in constant touch my help to keep you grounded. This way, there is less chance of losing yourself in the vast notions and opinions of those around you.
While you are going through life, gaining new experiences and encountering different perspectives, trust is essential yet difficult to cultivate. Consequently, having family and friends around you whom you can trust with your concerns, shortcomings, failures, and aspirations is a precious thing. In addition to entrusting yourself, they may also be valuable sources of insight while providing advice. Moreover, since they have your best interests at heart, they can give optimal guidance.
With that said, engaging with friends and family is not always easy. You may be constrained by limited available time for get-togethers or a general reticence about expressing yourself openly. Whatever the case may be, you must find a way to overcome those obstacles and establish an open forum. Try both conventional and other methods to find the one that works best. You don’t have to limit yourself to dinner dates and Sunday brunches. Why not try joining a sports club together? You may set up a regular time to meet and exercise, which will also serve as valuable interaction.
At the end of the day, maintaining close relationships and talking with family and friends can only serve to benefit your mental health.