Emotional Support Goes Both Ways

Picture a peaceful late afternoon at home. You’re sitting outside, enjoying the warmth of the sun in your garden. You’ve got a book opened in front of you, and a glass of fresh homemade lemonade – or beer if you’re in for a treat after a long day at work. You watched absentmindedly the kids playing in front of you. You can hear the neighbors in the distance, playing some cheerful music and laughing. There’s the smell of a BBQ party coming from a few houses down the street. You feel good. At this moment in time, you are at peace with the world.

But now take another day. The circumstances are the same. But your cold drink doesn’t quite taste refreshing enough. The kids are playing, but you wish they were quiet. You really can’t stand the absurd music the neighbors have chosen to listen to. And really, a barbecue party is the last thing you’d want to see right now. You feel irritated by everything. Can’t the world go away and leave you in peace?


So what has changed between these two days? One thing has changed dramatically, and it’s your emotional state. Indeed, your emotions are part of your everyday life. They dictate how you interact with the world around you. More importantly, as part of keeping your sanity and your mental health, you need to find and give emotional support. As much as emotions are inherent to life, emotional support is the way you can make the most of your feelings.

Everybody needs a hug


Everyone needs some form of emotional support

It might be difficult to think of emotional support without thinking of specialists and professionals in the mental health sector. In reality, people need each other as a way to fight off negative emotions. When you isolate yourself from others, you find it more challenging to control your feelings. Without a social circle for you to project and understand your emotions, you can suffer from social loneliness and depression. In fact, the lack of emotional support between individuals can drive to suicidal thoughts or even affect their immune systems. Ultimately, everyone needs emotional support in life. It doesn’t mean you need professional and medical assistance, though. It’s a matter of connecting with others to be part of a community who understands you. It’s about talking about what worries you, what keeps you awake at night, and what you hope for the future. Emotion means connection, and without it, you’re alone in the world.


Man’s best friend

Most people come to understand the importance of emotional support when they go through a crisis. With high levels of stress becoming a recurring cause of death in modern life, it’s important to look after your mental health. Most people are not equipped to handle high pressures by themselves. You need to find a way to purge your tensions emotionally. Stress management techniques can offer some short-term relief, but it’s fair to say that it’s something you need to practice regularly to see long-term effects. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, stress management strategies remain useless if they can’t change their working conditions – flexible working options can help to improve your mental health, for instance. It’s often in those situations we hear about emotional support animals. You will need to qualify medically to receive an ESA pet, but if you do, it will transform your life for the better. The idea that pets could ease your stress and help you against depression is not new. In fact, there are many tales of people who felt isolated socially and emotionally and whose life has changed after they adopted an animal. Petting your dog or your cat is relaxing, as your touch releases feel-good endorphins that reduce your heart rate. In short, you can find the support you need in man’s best furry friend.

Petting a dog


But you need to be there for your furry friend too

However, the emotional support needs to be mutual. As much as you rely on your animal to make you feel happier, your pet relies on you for the same reasons. You, of course, need to be a vigilant owner who doesn’t take any chance with the health of your pet. An animal in pain needs you to help, with a specialist orthopaedic vet for joint pain, for instance, to be able to help you back. Additionally, you also need to develop your intuitive antenna. Most pets let their owners know when something is wrong, but as they can’t talk, you have to be attentive. For example, animals can get depressed too – if they’ve lost a friend – and stressed, and in this case, the roles are reversed. You need to be the emotional support for your pet.


Talk with your family

Admittedly, while pets are important, your family plays a significant role in your emotional health. Being able to talk openly and freely with your partner about your problems at work, for example, can not only improve your relationship but also reduce your stress levels. It takes a lot of trust to open up to each other, but it’s what you need to build emotional connections. Ultimately, the decision to keep it all in can damage your relationship, as you are more likely to take it out on your partner.


But let them talk too

It’s fantastic when you can feel confident enough to speak to your relatives about the things that worry you. However, as emotional support goes both ways, you also need to remember that sometimes, your relatives or your friends might need you to lend them an ear. The art of giving emotional support in this relationship is to know how to listen from a place of acceptance and open-mindedness. Ultimately, it’s the mutual desire to help each other that create a solid emotional circle.


Don’t talk, just let me hug you

And finally, when nothing else can do, when words are no help, physical contact can get someone out of their place of emotional isolation. A hug can replace any word. It makes one feels care for. Just like petting a dog releases endorphins, a hug creates a happy chemical reaction in the body.


Whether you stroke your cat, open up to friends or simply give a hug, emotional support comes in many forms. More importantly, real support is mutual. It’s only once you’ve got each other’s back, that you can truly build a mindful life.



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