Cope with difficult social circumstances
As we have seen in difficult social circumstances, feeling isolated and lonely, having damaging and conflictual relationships, and lacking a supportive community can lead to mental health issues.
Ways to improve relationships and build community
Below are some tips to help you improve your social circumstances.
- Clubs and groups around your hobbies
- Painting, photography, snorkelling, stamp collecting, diving, cooking, knitting, books, films, gardening, etc.
- If you can’t find any, start one!
- Personal development, spiritual, etc.
- Sporting clubs and activities
- Gyms, football clubs, swim meets, etc.
- Group travel
- You never know who you might meet!
- Religious or spiritual community
- Church, synagogue, mosque, meditation centre, etc.
- Support groups
- Addiction, bereavement, betrayal, etc.
- Local homeless shelters, refugee centres, orphanages, animal welfare association, educational charities, etc.
Even if you don’t feel like meeting people, or are shy, if you choose to invest time and energy in something you do enjoy — such as a hobby, or travel, or a personal development course — you will end up meeting people, and gradually build a community of friends.
Building friendships and community can take time, patience and perseverance but the rewards are great.
Engage in mental therapy, as it can help improve your relationships and your ability to connect positively with others — family, friends and strangers:
- Talk therapy
- Family constellations
- Couples therapy
- Trauma therapy
Ways to cope with difficult social circumstances
If you cannot change your social circumstances, you can change how you cope with them and learn tools which will help you develop resilience and strength when confronted with isolation and loneliness, damaging and conflictual relationships, and lack of community.
In addition to nurturing relationships and building yourfinding a community, incorporating the following below into your daily life can also help you cope with difficult social circumstances, including damaging relationships.
- A daily meditation practice can increase self-awareness, self-knowledge, and connection to self, and from a place of greater connection with ourselves, we can connect more authentically with others
- Meditation can help us to gain perspective on a situation or a relationship, and respond less emotionally to it, thereby preventing an emotional escalation which might be destructive
- Meditation can increase our sense of peace and calm, helping us to be less irritable, more patient and reflective
- Meditating in a group, with friends or family, can increase a sense of loving connection between strangers, friends and family
There are many different types of mental therapy which can help with difficult social circumstances.
- Individual therapy can help increase our self-awareness and self-knowledge, which can improve our ability to connect authentically with others, and choose healthy relationships
- Individual therapy can also help us to process social anxiety, relationship difficulties and develop better relationship skills and tools
- Group therapy can increase our sense of belonging and community, and help us connect more authentically with others, as well as provide a supportive environment for processing emotions and experiences
- Couples therapy can improve our romantic partnerships and family relationships
- Family therapy and family constellations can help improve our relationships with close and extended family and complex family dynamics
- Trauma therapy and mind-body therapies can help heal deep seated psychological trauma, childhood trauma, etc… which can improve our ability to trust, engage with, and connect with others
Click on the links below to learn more about:
If you are not eating and absorbing the right nutrients, if you have gut issues, or if your blood sugar is out of balance, this can cause your hormones and neurotransmitters to be out of balance, which can make you moody, irritable, depressed, and anxious.
It is therefore important to make sure that you eat and absorb the correct nutrients, at the right time for optimal blood sugar levels, and that you heal your gut, in order to ensure balanced hormones and neurotransmitters.
This in turn will help you optimise your moods and mental health, so that you can build better relationships, and go out into the world and connect with others with more positive energy, greater peace, and more emotional resilience.
Click on the links below to learn more about how to:
Regular exercise can help improve your moods and energy levels, which in turn can give you more positive energy and confidence to connect with others.
Exercising can also be a fun and bonding group activity, enabling you to meet others, if done with a team, or in a club or a gym.
Getting outside in nature and natural light can help lessen anxiety, improve your mood, energy levels and outlook, which can all be helpful in positive connections with others.
Getting outside and walking with friends, going on organised hikes, or practicing sports in the outdoors is also a good way to enjoy nature and natural light, while improving relationships and building community.
Having a healthy, welcoming space to live, work and socialise in can be helpful to build relationships and social community.
- Detoxifying your environment helps relieve the toxic load on your body, thereby improving hormone and neurotransmitter levels, ensuring more balanced moods which can help us build better relationships
- Living in a more pleasant, less toxic environment can be more inviting to social activities and friendships
Click on the links below to learn more about how to
Practicing mind-body therapies can help improve social circumstances in various ways:
- By encouraging connection with others through group practice (yoga, qi gong)
- By helping improve your connection to the self, and harmonise body, mind and emotions, which in turn will improve connection with others
- By helping to heal psychological trauma, which in turn can help to facilitate more trusting, deeper and healthier connection with others
Practicing relaxation techniques can help improve relationships with friends, family, and community, as reducing stress and increasing relaxation can:
- Help balance hormones and neurotransmitters, enhancing a sense of calm, better moods, improved concentration and attention, all of which will enhance inter-personal relationships
- Allow us to be more present for others, and connect with others with less anxiety and more positive energy
Making sure we get enough sleep is essential for our moods, anxiety and irritability levels, concentration and attention levels.
Being well rested and getting regular sleep is often essential to improving relationships with friends and family, improving our focus and presence towards others, increasing positive energy and the desire connect with others.
In order to go towards others and build positive relationships, we need to manage our negative thoughts and beliefs. We all have a tendency to be judgmental of others, and depending on our moods we can also have negative thoughts and feelings towards friends, family and strangers.
To improve our existing relationships and build healthy new ones, it is important to be aware of our negative thoughts and beliefs that we might be projecting onto others, that might hold us back from connecting in positive and compassionate ways.