How Friendships Enhance Your Life
Most of us know that having a solid support system is one of the foundations of being a happy and healthy individual. Unfortunately, in today’s busy world, we often find that we rarely have time to create the deep friendships that most benefit us. Between careers, taking care of kids, and trying to find time to spend with our significant others, it can be difficult to reserve time for our friends. Quality is always better than quantity when it comes to friendships, though, and when you see the five ways they enhance your life, you should be convinced they are worth the investment.
They Make Us Healthier
Good friends don’t just make us happier, they can also make us physically healthier. Those who have a strong support system show a reduced risk in health problems such as high blood pressure and depression and have a longer life span. Those with rich social lives also tend to have a lower body mass index and be more physically active than their more isolated counterparts.
Friends Enhance Our Sense of Belonging
It can become easy to feel lost in the world, especially as we go through life changes such as divorce or children leaving the nest. Those who don’t have a close-knit group of friends are more likely to feel adrift and have a difficult time feeling they have a place where they belong. Whether your friends meet for regular group social outings or you just chat frequently on a one-to-one basis, good friends make us feel like we always have a place we are welcome.
They Take Pressure Off Our Significant Others
Even the strongest of relationships can sag under the pressure of expectations. Those who do not have close friends tend to expect more out of their significant others and often feel let down if their romantic partner is not able to meet all their needs. If you have friends whom you can confide in, share hobbies with, or turn to when you’re feeling down, the pressure on your significant other lessens and you’re more likely to have a healthy and happy relationship.
Friends Can Help You Enjoy Hobbies and Discover New Activities
It’s much easier to enjoy travel, games, and movies with someone you enjoy spending time with. It’s also much easier to be introduced to new activities you might enjoy if those suggestions come from a close friend. Those who have friends with multiple hobbies and areas of interest tend to find their horizons get broadened as well.
They Can Be a Source of Support and Encouragement
Good friends are there for you in the bad times and the good. They can support you when you experience a job loss or the death of a loved one and cheer you on as you run your first marathon or land your dream job. The larger your support and cheering section, the more likely you will feel equipped to handle whatever life throws at you.
Authentic, close friendships are crucial to our overall happiness and well-being. Though it may seem like you have little time to invest in developing deep friendships, the payoff is well worth the time and effort involved.