Monday, October 3, 2011

Who Do You Call On InTimes Of Trouble?

smiley happy peopleImage by madhavaji via FlickrIf you are stressed out, awash in personal or career problems, just suffered a major loss of any kind, or don't think you can cope another minute with life's challenges, what is the single most important thing that you can do?  Develop a plan?  Read a self-help book?  Get a good night's sleep?  Exercise?  Well, all those things are definitely important but the single most efffective thing you can do is develop and rely on a social network.  In other words, talk to someone who cares!  Nothing relieves the pain and stress, nothing puts life in the proper perspective, nothing calms us, like a caring conversation with another person.  Not only does our personal experience prove this, but study after study has shown it to be well.

One example of this is a study known as "Very Happy People"  where researchers investigated the characteristics of the happiest ten percent among us.  They looked at wealth, geographic location, physcial ability and many other factors.  What was the conclusion?  The only characteristic that distinguished the happiest ten percent from everyone else was the strength of their social support system.  In another study of Harvard undergraduates where researchers compared such factors  as GPA, family income, SAT scores, age, gender and race with the individuals' happiness level, again the best predictor of their overall happiness was the level of social support. I bet many of you are thinking this is just common sense. We've all experienced this in our own lives.

If that is true, then why is it that when people get in crisis they actually pull away from their social network? There are many reasons :  we think that we would be a burden to others, we think that no one else could understand our problems, we think that others might think less of us in some way if they knew of our problems, we think we would be gossiping or 'sharing our dirty laundry.  However, I personally have found time and time again that a problem shared is a problem that loses it's power to control me emotionally.  A problem shared is a problem that becomes smaller and smaller until I finally have the means or the strength to cope with it myself. So what about you?  Are you sharing with your circle of family and friends in times of trouble?


  1. Yes, I do share when problems arise and I pray to God to help me cope and figure out what to do.

    We definitely need to lean on friends and family in times of distress. Having others to listen with kindness and patience is such a gift!

    Great post, Lynne!


  2. It's a lesson I've had to learn myself. Thanks Martha!

  3. I have Bloplicity and my therapist....all a girl needs LOLOLOL...As always....XOXOXOOXOXOX

  4. In times of trouble I call on my very close friends... and sometimes a family member...
    Sometimes all that is needed is for someone to just listen...

  5. My mama my daughter and my on line friends, do it for me.

  6. Like Martha, I turn to my faith to sustain me. I pour out all my troubles in conversation with Jesus. I also have a close friend with whom I can talk anything. Apart from that, I have conversations with myself.
    I should try seeking my blogger friends I reckon. They are a solid group.

    Thanks for this post, Lynne.

    Joy always,

  7. I have my friends, a couple of them who are close. It is not even necessary to pour out my heart too but it helps talking to them.

  8. I tend to keep much to myself, coming to God with most of my problems. But when I do reach out to others, even if it's just for a distracted afternoon dwelt in their presence, experiencing a good time or two, not necessarily divulging all of my woes, but just sharing in some fellowship, it can definitely have a healing effect and lift my spirits!