There is often a common theme that continually comes up in the counseling office when working with individuals struggling with Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, or any number of diagnosis.  This theme is almost always brought up by the therapist, and if you have ever utilized counseling in the past this may be old news.  I often will focus on what I think of as “The Big 4.”

These are four areas of a person’s life in which if there is any imbalance or disharmony, that person will no doubt suffer the effects.  Here is what I am talking about.


1.  Exercise

2.  Sleep

3.  Diet

4.  Social support

I have found that when treating most clients we will often focus on one or all of these areas.  There have been numerous studies that show how maintaining these areas of our lives can help us physically, there is no question to this.  But along with a healthy body comes a healthy mind.  I recently ran across a short article called The Side of Support Networks We Often Forget, that pointed out an obvious that I had previously overlooked.

We are always discussing how important it is to get exercise, rest, and a healthy diet.  The one thing that often leads to success in these areas, the glue that binds them together if you will, is support from those around us.  I think back to the times in my life when I have been in the best shape (my first triathlon) and can pinpoint my success to the fact that I had a ton of support.  My wife, kids, friends, family as well as coworkers were all on board and came along for the ride.  Without the support I would have given up.  I received so much encouragement that it was not an option to fail.  I know that it was the support that worked as the glue for the other three areas.

Social support not only helps with the encouragement aspect, but it provides another level of accountability.  We are all very good at talking ourselves out of doing something hard.  I know, I have done it many times myself.  The times that I have failed to talk myself out of doing something hard are the times in which there was another person to convince.  Often just the fact that I would have to convince that person the same BS I had been telling myself is enough to give up and do the hard thing.  It’s also nice to have someone else to offer advice.  I have found that despite what I previously thought, I do not know it all.

Now it’s time for the shameless plug.  Cultivation Counseling has a support group just for men called Save the Males.  You can find out more info by following the link.  We offer this group as another means of support for men in our community.  We have found that men are usually the last group of individuals looking for support, but when they find it they tend to really benefit from and enjoy it.  The next time you are looking to improve in the above mentioned areas in your life, make sure to include the glue to make it happen and include social support.  Your chances of reaching your goals will increase dramatically.