Action 13

I need to participate in a supportive social network and stay involved in social settings such as church, community activities, and sports-related activities. I should hang around with people who value joy and improve the situation and who are on a meaning-making mission. I need to participate in communal coping efforts that generate a sense of hope, trust, solidarity, and connectedness such as public rituals, memorials, demonstrations, marches, artistic expressive activities, theatre performances, reconciliation meetings, religious services, and the like. Find a way to matter to other people.

Useful Information

People with five or more close friends (excluding family members) are 50 percent more likely to describe themselves as being “very happy,” than folks who had few friends. One in four Americans reports they have no one to confide in. It takes effort and commitment to find and maintain a confidant, but it is critical to the development of resilience.

Quotable Quotes

“Over time, I learned to deal with my anger by placing emotional distance between myself and the Army. The Army is still an important part of my life, but I make a conscious effort now not to let it control my life. I set firm boundaries with the military—not working past a certain hour, living off post, respecting my wife’s wish not to participate in unit functions. In the Army’s place I now focus my energy on the things that make the most sense to me in my lifemy family, my friends and my travels.”

—Major Andrew J. Dekever, Notre Dame Magazine, Autumn, 2011

Action 14