6 Life-Changing Strategies to Boost Mood, Build Resilience and Increase Happiness while working in the fashion industry.
1. Make social connection a priority—especially face-to-face
No matter how much time you devote to improving your mental and emotional health, you will still need the company of others to feel and be your best. Humans are social creatures with emotional needs for relationships and positive connections to others. We are not meant to survive, let alone thrive, in isolation. Our social brains crave companionship—even when experience has made us shy and distrustful of others.
Why is the face-to-face connection so necessary?
Phone calls and social networks have their place, but nothing can beat the stress-busting, mood-boosting power of quality face-to-face time with other people.
The key is to interact with someone who is a “good listener”—someone you can regularly talk to in person, who will listen to you without a pre-existing agenda for how you should think or feel. A good listener will hear the feelings behind your words, and won't interrupt, judge, or criticise you.
Reaching out is not a sign of weakness, and it will not mean you are a burden to others. Most people are flattered if you trust them enough to confide in them. If you do not feel that you have anyone to turn to, there are good ways to build new friendships and improve your support network. In the meantime, there is still a great benefit to interacting face-to-face with acquaintances or people you encounter during the day, such as neighbours, people in the checkout line or on the bus, or the person serving you your morning coffee. Make eye contact and exchange a smile, a friendly greeting, or small talk.
Tips for connecting with others
- Call a friend or loved one now and arranged to meet up. If you both lead busy lives, offer to run errands or exercise together. Try to make it a regular get-together.
- If you do not feel that you have anyone to call, reach out to acquaintances. Lots of other people feel just as uncomfortable about making new friends as you do—so be the one to break the ice. Reconnect with an old friend, invite a co-worker out for lunch, or ask a neighbour to join you for coffee.
- Get out from behind your TV or computer screen. Communication is the mostly nonverbal experience that requires you to be in direct contact with other people, so don't neglect your real-world relationships for virtual interaction.
- Be a joiner. Join networking, social, or special interest groups that meet on a regular basis. These groups offer excellent opportunities for meeting people with common interests.
- Don’t be afraid to smile and say hello to strangers you cross paths with. Making a connection is beneficial to both of you—and you never know where it may lead! *
Take action, connect and speak up
Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A., Robert Segal, M.A., Lawrence Robinson and Jeanne Segal, PhD.
*Find the strategy number 2 in the next article.