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174 Mine Lake Court Suite #200

Raleigh, NC  27615

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Tel: 984-500-2021

Fax: 919-714-0907

pathtohopec@hushmail.com 

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You can't do it alone

July 3, 2017

With all the complications and difficulties that life presents to us, going it alone without friends or family can lead to feelings of isolation and depression.  .Without others to talk too, support us and be there we can end up in a place that is filled with negative thoughts and feelings.   Many people have been hurt by others, betrayed and abused.  This can lead to defense mechanisms being on high and feeling of not wanting to trust others or let them into your life. This can be a mistake. Of course it is important to be careful who you let in but not block everyone out because then you can end up blocking out even the good people in your life. 

              Many people feel safe at home by themselves and make their home a safe place where they block the rest of the world out.  This can lead to more sadness, anxiety and make meeting others impossible.  It is always a risk to meet new people but without social supports, a person’s chance for a full recovery from mental health symptoms is bleak.    Research has shown the best way to help overcome depression and anxiety is through having a support network.  Having someone you can express your feelings, your worries and hopes for the future make finding new friends worth the risk.  Having someone to laugh with, go to new places, experience new things and feel a sense of belonging with can stabilize your mood and bring more feelings of joy.  How as an adult can you meet new friends?

Keys to meeting new people and friends:

  1. Make yourself visible:  when you stay at home and limit any outings you may feel safe but you do become in some ways  invisible to others.  No one is going to come knocking on your door looking for a friend or companion.

  2. Consider taking a college course or noncredit course through your local community college.  The best way to meet others and mingle is through interaction in a classroom.  You can meet others of many ages and interests.  Be confident.  introduce yourself and start conversations with others instead of waiting for others to come to you. 

  3. Hangout at the local bookstore.  There are always many people there and sometimes they have bookclubs you can join that can be less intimidating than some social situatiosn since you are focused on discussion about a book.  Even if you just sit and listen, chances are someone will include you in the conversation and you will get to know others.

  4. Join a meetup group and sign up for some events. There are meetup groups for everything now from newcomers to an area to others who have an interest in gardening, parenting, dancing, nightlife, even knitting. You may feel more relaxed when meeting others who share the same interests.  It can be scary at first when you don’t know anyone but give it time and you can make some friends.  Try to go to events with smaller groups of people.

It can take some initial effort to meet new people and build your social network but the time is well worth it.  The benefits are numerous and the results can make a huge difference in a more positive outlook and reduced mental health symptoms.

 

If you are feeling isolated and need someone to talk to, help is available.  I can help!  You can reach me at 919-618-6526 or email me at pathtohopecounseling@gmail.com .

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