Why should I strengthen my social network?

Being connected to a partner, family, friends, or a support group has been shown to improve mood and the ability to cope with adversity. A strong social network can even strengthen the immune system.  Most people who are able to cope with health problems such as amputation have strong social support networks with family, friends, and even pets. Some important types of support include emotional support or someone you trust with your most intimate thoughts, anxieties, and fears, and who trusts you; social support or someone you enjoy being with, who helps you cope with disappointments, and who celebrates your joys; informational support or someone you can ask for advice on major decisions; and practical support or someone who will help you out in a pinch (neighbors, a relative, or co‑workers).
As you seek to boost social support, try to identify these key people in your life and work to nurture these much-needed relationships. If you are having trouble thinking of people in any one of these areas, please realize that this is an important task you have to do—to reach out to broaden your personal relationships.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.