Do you ever wonder why many people generally feel better after talking through problems with a trusted friend or family member? Aside from the benefits of having more than one mind working to solve a problem, social support has been shown to buffer the adverse effects of stress. In addition to making you feel better, social support positively influences mortality and morbidity.
Belonging to a social network increases the feeling of self worth with a sense of belonging. The increased confidence it provides allows for better creative thinking and boosts motivation. In terms of behavior, social support encourages informed choices and positive change including healthy practices such as exercise and healthy eating.
With all this good news regarding social support, you might think that hugs can make everything better.However, there may be some negative correlation between depression and social support as well as anxiety and social support. An individual’s perception of social support and how it matches a given stressor play a part in that support’s effectiveness. This might help to explain why social support does not always prevent or resolve episodes of depression and anxiety.
For this Discussion, review this week’s Learning Resources. Then research literature in the Walden Library on social support and its effect on the health condition. Consider how different populations may be at risk for reduced social support.