Why Study This Mantra...You will learn how to build, foster, and strengthen a great social network.
Humans are social creatures. There is a strong correlation between having a strong tribe and your mental and physical well being.
Not only that, but a great group of friends can encourage you to avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, provide you with a sounding board for all of life's concerns, encourage you when you need it most, and join you in pursuing common interests.
Having a strong social network means both creating new relationships and maintaining old ones. This month, you'll come up with and practice some great methods for both.
Before you begin...
Before you start thes practices and challenges, take a moment to rate yourself on this mantra. Give yourself a score from 1-10 (10 being the highest).
Do this again at the end of a month of practices and challenges. How much have you grown?
Today's affirmation: "I will find and take opportunities to build my tribe."
Growing My Tribe
- I will find opportunities to go out into the world and meet people
- When I do, I will center around a single goal: to find out one unique thing about them to decide if they’re somebody I might want to hang out with.
- I will turn strangers into friends by taking the next step
Strengthening My Tribe
- I will say yes when my friends invite me to things
- I will take time out to think of my friends and reach out to them
- I will set up events and nights out with my friends
- I will enact the results I came up with in my Tribe Brainstorm
Note: Does your tribe include people who resemble WHO YOU WANT TO BE? The people around you matter! Be around people who inspire you. Who's around you?
Join Our Tribe on Facebook
There's nothing more valuable than a great community when you're going through the growing pains of self-growth. Whether or not you've got a thriving tribe of your own, you'll benefit from joining our community on Facebook.
We foster a positive, constructive, and safe place for our members to interact in ways that help each other. Come to talk about your experiences growing through particular mantras, solicit feedback on how to get unstuck on one, or simply listen to how others overcame the same challenges your having. Whatever it is, there's nothing more helpful than a lended ear from someone in your same position!
Visit the link below to request to join the closed group. An administrator will verify your subscription and let you in.
Welcome to the tribe!
As I remove my mantra tonight, I will brainstorm new ways I could grow and strengthen my tribe. I will ask myself questions like:
- Where could I go where I would have fun, regardless if I met anyone?
- Where would the types of people I’m looking for spend their free time?
- What fun activities would I love to do with all of my friends?
- Who's drifting away from my tribe that I'd like to keep in? How can I pull them back in?
THE STRONG TIE BETWEEN YOUR TRIBE AND YOUR HAPPINESSYour tribe and your happiness are strongly correlated. Those with strong social ties
- Tend to live longer and have better physical health (House, Landis, & Umberson, 1988; Umberson & Karas Montez, 2010)
- Have greater job satisfaction and work performance, academic competence (Resnick et al., 1997; Chambel & Curral, 2005; Cotton, Dollard, & de Jonge, 2002)
- Are more creative (Perry-Smith, 2006)
- Substance use
- Feelings of self worth and self esteem
- (Cutrona & Russell, 1987; Diener & Seligman, 2002; Kawachi & Berkman, 2001; Richards, Hardy, & Wadsworth, 1997; Taylor, Doane, & Eisenberg, 2013).
Social relationship quality may contribute to well-being in important ways. Social support specifically refers to the sense of being taken care of, listened to, loved, and appreciated (Cohen, 2004).
STRENGTH THROUGH CONNECTIONS
The idea that social relationships are good for us is more than just a bit of folk wisdom. Human relationships have been studied for decades, and scientists have found ample evidence that our level of connection to other people is closely linked to things like health, happiness, success and general well-being.
Forming relationships with other individuals or groups of people produces positive benefits. For example, stronger interpersonal connections are linked to reduced stress and reductions in heart-related risks, as well as to longer life. On the flip side, a lack of human connectedness is associated with negative effects. Loneliness and social isolation, for example, are linked to poorer health, to depression, and to increased risk of early death.
This can mean forming relationships at work, or it can mean finding people who share similar hobbies and interests outside of work. For example, you could look for volunteer opportunities in your community and share some constructive activities with the other participants. No matter what the venue, the positive effects on human health from involvement with other people have been shown to be potent.
Good quality social contact, such as collaborating on activities, benefits mental health. When people are introduced to a variety of interactive social activities, regardless of what the specific exercise is, social wellbeing, mental wellbeing, and self-reported mental health improved significantly from before the start of the activity until after.
Simple belongingness appears to have multiple and strong effects on emotional patterns and on cognitive processes . Building friendships is believed to have benefited the evolution of the human race through natural selection and subjective well-being. Acts of kindness such as giving and providing support help create positive connection to others.
And it’s not only mental health that gets a boost. Your immune system actually benefits due to your relationships with other people. In one study, more than 200 healthy volunteers were exposed to the common cold virus and observed in a controlled environment. The results were pretty amazing; people’s resilience against the virus was positively correlated with the strength of their social networks.  That is, deeper social connections were directly aligned with a stronger immune response.
Another physical health benefit is that people are more able to successfully demonstrate good personal behaviors (such as avoiding drinking and quitting smoking) if they have a larger, deeper social network.  So if you have health-related habits that you’d like to improve on, your social network is there to support you and make it easier to succeed.
What else? Your network helps you achieve higher levels of success! Just feeling like you belong to a group is linked to increases in motivation. Studies have shown that with each additional social-link, there is an increase in motivation and persistence on tasks. This could be done by building group goals amongst friends or by collaborating on performance-oriented tasks at work.
In the workplace, “higher workplace social capital” is linked to lower stress, fewer mental health problems like depression and anxiety, and better health-related behaviors  Specific to men in the workplace, higher quality close male friendships are associated with career success and job satisfaction (more so than in women). But for women, organizations that encourage and support positive social relationships between women coworkers are associated with lower levels of interpersonal conflict between female employees.  Which is to say, strong workplace social connections have positive benefits for everyone.
To sum up, there’s a lot of evidence out there to suggest that you will benefit in your journey from building relationships, whether they be at home, at the workplace or in external social situations. So take some time every day this month to either cultivate new positive relationships or to strengthen existing ones.
Further Reading“Building Social Bonds - Connections That Promote Well-Being”
“Do Social Ties Affect Our Health?”
“Connectedness & Health: The Science of Social Connection”
- Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497–529. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.117.3.497
- Brad Bowins, Editor(s): Brad Bowins, States and Processes for Mental Health, Academic Press 2021, ISBN 9780323850490, https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-323-85049-0.00004-0
- Chambel, M. J., & Curral, L. (2005). Stress in academic life: Work characteristics as predictors of student well-being and performance. Applied Psychology, 54, 135-147.
- Cohen, S. (2004). Social relationships and health. American Psychologist, 59, 676-684.
- Cohen S, Doyle WJ, Skoner DP, Rabin BS, Gwaltney JM Jr. Social ties and susceptibility to the common cold. JAMA. 1997 Jun 25;277(24):1940-4. PMID: 9200634.
- Cotton, S. J., Dollard, M. F., & de Jonge, J. (2002). Stress and student job design: Satisfaction, well-being, and performance in university students. International Journal of Stress Management, 9, 147-162.
- Cutrona, C. E., & Russell, D. W. (1987). The provisions of social relationships and adaptation to stress. Advances in Personal Relationships, 1, 37-67.
- Diener, E., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Very happy people. Psychological Science, 13, 80-83.
- House, J. S., Landis, K. R., & Umberson, D. (1988). Social relationships and health. Science, 241, 540-545.
- Kawachi, I., & Berkman, L. F. (2001). Social ties and mental health. Journal of Urban Health, 78, 458-467.
- Lewis D., Al-Shawaf L., Russell E., Buss D. (2015) Friends and Happiness: An Evolutionary Perspective on Friendship. In: Demir M. (eds) Friendship and Happiness. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9603-3_3
- Markiewicz, D., Devine, I. and Kausilas, D. (2000), "Friendships of women and men at work: Job satisfaction and resource implications", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 161-184. https://doi.org/10.1108/02683940010310346
- Perry-Smith, J. E. (2006). Social yet creative: The role of social relationships in facilitating individual creativity. Academy of Management Journal, 49, 85-101.
- Resnick, M. D., Bearnman, P. S., Blum, R. W., Bauman, K. E., Harris, K. M., Jones, J., et al. (1997). Protecting adolescents from harm: Findings from the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 278, 823-832.
- Richards, M., Hardy, R., & Wadsworth, M. (1997). The effects of divorce and separation on mental health in a national UK birth cohort. Psychological Medicine, 27, 1121-1128.
- Staff, Science X. “Strong Friendships among Women in the Workplace Reduce Conflict, According to New Study.” Phys.org, Phys.org, 14 July 2017, https://phys.org/news/2017-07-strong-friendships-women-workplace-conflict.html.
- Taylor, Z. E., Doane, L. D., & Eisenberg, N. (2013). Transitioning from high school to college: Relations of social support, ego-resiliency, and maladjustment during emerging adulthood. Emerging Adulthood, 2, 105-115.
- Umberson, D., Williams, K., Powers, D. A., Liu, H., & Needham, B. (2006). You make me sick: Marital quality and health over the life course. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 47, 1-16.
- Walton, G. M., Cohen, G. L., Cwir, D., & Spencer, S. J. (2012). Mere belonging: The power of social connections. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102(3), 513–532. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0025731