The Importance of Friends
Think back to the last time you spent time with a good friend or a group of friends. Hopefully you experienced feelings of acceptance, love, joy, comfort and security.
As friends, we share life’s journey, the good and the bad, and love each other nonetheless. Having someone you trust to talk with, to share your laughter and tears, and to just be there is one of life’s greatest gifts. In addition to the emotional peace positive friendships offer, they also can improve your health and wellbeing.
Having good friends can:
- Increase happiness and joy
- Provide a greater sense of purpose and belonging
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Improve your feelings of strength and self-esteem
- Help you cope with trauma and loss
- Decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation
- Encourage healthy habits, such as exercise, laughter and eating well
Research has shown that having friends may help you deal with pain, stress and illness in a positive manner. While family connections are also vital, the connections we have with friends are often different than the relationships we have with family.
With this in mind, nurture your friendships. Keep in close contact with those friends who support you in the best way possible. Don't worry if you've lost touch for a while — many times old friends will understand and support you even if a few months or years have passed. Investing in new friends and strengthening friendships may help you handle stress and illness while bringing you better quality of life in return.
We would love to hear how friends have helped support you and the benefits you have received from their care.