importance of friends

Why friendships are important to your health and wellbeing?

It is possible that your friendships may change over time but true friends will always be there for you, ready to help you in times of need and bring happiness to your life.
By

A life without friends is hard to imagine. Besides making our lives more enjoyable, they stand by us during difficult times and encourage us to keep moving forward. They offer us a shoulder to lean on when we feel low and celebrate our wins like their own. Life becomes easier and delightful when we have good friends to share it with.

Good friendships affect your life in more ways than one. Research shows that having friends is also good for your wellbeing. Numerous studies have shown that social support from friends can improve both your mental and physical health. A healthy social life can help increase your sense of belonging, boost your self-confidence, and discourage you to adopt unhealthy lifestyle habits.

It is possible that your friendships may change over time but true friends will always be there for you, ready to help you in times of need and bring happiness to your life. Let’s take a closer look at how your friendships can improve your wellbeing.

Boost your self-confidence

Sometimes the biggest deterrent that prevents you from achieving your goals is your own self-limiting beliefs. You think you are not good enough and doesn’t deserve happiness. But your true friends see what you cannot. They recognise your strengths and encourage you to pursue your dreams. When someone believes in your abilities, your self-confidence rises. According to a study, “positive social relationships, social support and social acceptance help shape the development of self-esteem in people over time.”

Promote a sense of belonging

We all have a natural yearning to connect and belong. Whether it is to join a peer group at college or be acknowledged by colleagues at work, when you are part of a social circle, you feel good. You know you have a group of people you can count on in times of need, which makes you feel secure. It reinforces your conviction that you are a good person, embedded with positive values. Moreover, spending time with friends can help keep loneliness at bay, which is important for your holistic wellbeing.

Help you become a better person

Good friends help you become a better version of yourself. After all, they always have your best interest at heart. They know you inside out. All your shortcomings and fears turn into opportunities when you have your friends guiding your way. They help you overcome obstacles and push you to get out of your comfort zone. In her book, Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are, author Carlin Flora writes, “Friendship is often the special catalyst required for us to reach our aims. Whether you’re trying to finish college or run a marathon, having a friend beside you, pursuing the same objective, eases and quickens the journey.”

Keep stress at bay

Managing stress becomes a lot easier when you have someone to share your problems with. Think about the time when you were upset about something. But after you shared your concerns with your friend, how calm you were. Chances are friends can even help you come up with solutions to your problems. A study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine discovered that people had a lower pulse and blood pressure when they discussed their problem with a supportive friend by their side. When you know you have a friend who cares and want to help, potential stressors are unlikely to build up.

Encourage healthy behaviours

Since you spend a lot of time together with your friends, their positive behaviours can rub off on you. Having friends who make healthy choices can motivate you to make similar decisions in your life. Their presence can make a significant impact on how you live your life. For example, it can affect how you spend your time in the morning. If your friend likes to exercise at the break of dawn, they may encourage you to do the same. Or they may motivate you to learn something new.

Help you cope with grief

Life is hard. Sometimes, it can be downright awful. You may come across situations that can leave you devastated. Traumatic life events such as the loss of a loved one, losing a job, or a divorce, these situations can drain you both emotionally and physically. In such times, having a friend to share your pain can help lighten the load from your shoulders. Friends can help you process your grief by just being there. You know you can talk to them about anything.

X

Your wellbeing is a few clicks away.

Subscribe to your daily feed of positivity, wellness, and motivation.