Having close friends make us happier and healthier. Human beings are a social species, we need a sense of ‘belonging’ in this world and we get this by caring for the people that mean the most to us; our friends. Friendships play an important role in our lives and we learn many lessons from the different types of relationships we encounter during our lifetime.
Friendships that first develop in childhood teach us fundamental social skills that stay with us throughout adulthood. We learn how to share, understand the gestures and emotions of others and build self-confidence with a little help from our friends. Friendship has a favourable effect on children by supporting their emotional and social development and to help them understand the world around them. Surprisingly, studies have also shown that not only do friendships help children develop their own identity, they also have a positive influence on a child’s health and prevent mental health issues in adolescence.
During our teenage years we change from one friendship group to another, trying to find that group that helps us define who we are and who we would like to be. We search for more meaningful relationships with our friends during adolescence, finding like-minded people that we can share our experiences and feelings with. When we enter the early stages of adulthood, we start to appreciate the differences and individualities of our friends and embrace the variance of lifestyle, opinion and advice that they bring into our lives. Friends offer us solace when we need it the most, whenever we need a shoulder to cry on or a joke to brighten our day, our friends are there.
Close friendships are good for our emotional health; spending quality time with friends can enhance your mood, build self-confidence and reduce stress and anxiety. Socialising with friends can also decrease our risk of developing dementia and even add years to our life. Each friendship we encounter is different. Some of us have the same best friend from high school and keep the close bond throughout our lives, however, some of us drift apart from our childhood friends and form bonds with new ones as adults.
Also, not every friendship in our lives is a positive one. There are many toxic friendships that occur, when we associate ourselves with people that drain us emotionally and try to manipulate and control our lives.
Excerpt from the sixth issue of Zest For Life Magazine. Click Read More to view the full article…