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Stress: Reduce Stress by Creating a Support Network

A support network can serve as a great stress reducer. Many minds can assist you in viewing any event or circumstance differently then you can all by yourself.

Yet a support network offers so much more than just other perspectives.

People are community creatures. We were not designed to live separately as hermits. When people fail to get adequate hugs and touching they fail to thrive.

When they fail to thrive they have less resilience to bounce back from stressful events. In fact they are less likely to make it through the overwhelm or pressure of tough moments when they suffer from a touch shortage.

No joke here. Many experiments led to the handling, rubbing and cuddling of premature babies in intensive care of neonatal wards.

Make sure some of the people in your support network live close by so you get physical hugs often – every day is optimal.

Just how many hugs makes a difference for people?

Virginia Satir, the founder of Family Therapy, said that people need 4 hugs a day to survive, eight to get by and twelve to thrive. How many people get twelve a hugs a day? How many get even one hug a day?

Everyone needs to know someone loves them. Make certain at least one person in your support network loves you. (Your support network can be family, friends and colleagues.) Realize you gotta love yourself first to ever move to stress-free living.

You teach people how to treat you by how you treat yourself. You set the example.

An interesting possible addition to your support network is a pet: cat, dog, ferret, whatever animal you like – assuming you like and can care for a pet. You can count on a pet to make you smile. Smiles go a long way to reduce and eliminate stress.

Accountability partners offer needed support regardless of whether you need help staying on task with personal or professional goals. When you tell yourself you will accomplish ABC by a specific time and date you may feel extremely pressured to finish it if you have someone waiting to hear of your completion.

If the only person wanting to know if you finish what you said you would is you, well, most people have a hard time keeping commitments they make only to themselves. When you feel like you let yourself down you heap a whole lot of stress and bad feelings on yourself.

One function of a support network that I especially like is having friends who remind me of what I already know and forget when I get stressed. Those reminders powerfully get me back on track.

Under duress we forget what we know. At those times friends remind us what to do. They do not tell us anything we do not already know. They tell us what we need to hear right then and there.