The strength of your support network also contributes to your wellness, and I find that even a quick chat on Facebook with a friend or a skype call with my mum can instantly lift my mood. Sometimes, especially as a student, you can get so stuck in a pattern of work work work, that you get trapped in your own head and worry / anxiety/stress begins to build. Taking a 15 minute break from work or studying just to have a quick catch-up with your partner / friend works wonders. Trust! Research has suggested that the relationships we have with others predicts our mental health and well-being, so it’s important that the support network we have is strong enough to help see us through hard times.
In contrast, however, I have found that it’s important to cut out any friends that may not be as great as you think. We’ve all had those friends who aren’t the best; they may suddenly disappear when you need some help/ support, just by spending time with them may drain you mentally, they may talk about their insecurities constantly and as a consequence may make you feel insecure about yourself. The main difference between me a few years ago and me now is that I never realised friendships are about QUALITY NOT QUANTITY! Trust me. Since a few years ago i’d say I’ve reduced the amount of friends I have by almost half. You may think this has made me feel sad and lonely, yet the results are the complete opposite! I feel so much happier; both in myself and with my current relationships. Having a few friends who are positive influences and who are there when you need them is way better! Pruning my relationships is one way I have improved my mental health, and I 100% believe this method can help others improve their well-being. If you’re still questioning my reasoning, check out this quote which paraphrases this point perfectly:
“There are two types of people – anchors and motors. You want to lose the anchors and get with the motors because the motors are going somewhere and they’re having more fun. The anchors will just drag you down.”
I don’t just use this method with my real-life, face-to-face relationships, I also use it for my social media: anyone who’s posts make me feel uneasy or insecure, make me question my own mental health, or if they’re negative nancies, then I remove them from my social media. Replacing negative influences on social platforms with positive ones has helped me millions. Instead of scrolling through my feed and seeing ‘perfect’ celebrities I now see real people with similar interests to me: healthy food, fitness and animals.
Here are a few things I have tried that have helped me improve my relationships with my friends and family, and therefore my own wellness:
- Realise which friendships are negatives and spend less time with those people.
- Similarly, realise which friendships are positives and spend more time with these friends.
- ‘prune’ your social media, switching negative influences for positive ones with similar interests to you.
- Recognise when you are feeling low / stressed and reach out to a friend or relative, even if it’s for a quick chat over messenger it will help! Remember, a problem shared is a problem halved!
Let me know what you guys think of this post! Have any of you found that pruning your relationships helps your wellbeing?