One of the greatest gifts in life is friendship. They challenge us, support and encourage us, and are a great source of joy and happiness in our lives. Friendships are also important to our wellbeing and personal development, teach us vital life lessons, and provide a sounding board to talk about our feelings and problems. Here are some more reasons why friendships are so important in your life.
Friends Lower Stress
When we feel close to someone, the hormone progesterone – which helps reduce stress and anxiety – goes up, a recent study from the University of Michigan found. If you know people you can turn to during a stressful event, you are less likely to perceive the event as stressful. Friendships also help reduce the negative effects of stress such as depression, obesity, heart disease, and gut function.
Friends Keep You Strong
When you have close friendships, you are more likely to keep your mind and body strong. Think about it: friends encourage you to be healthy, can be accountability and health lifestyle partners, and help keep you emotionally healthy. Recently, studies have also shown that friendships help promote brain health and cognitive function and even affect our outlook on life.
Friends Help Us Weather the Storms
During times of great difficulty or trauma, having close friends is a lifeline. When we feel lonely or want to hide from the world, our friends help us learn to accept kindness, reach out for help when we need it, appreciate the wonderful people we have in our lives, provide essential support, and boost your happiness. It’s during times of difficulty that we realize just how important it is to have people who care about and love us.
Friends Help Us Grow
When you spend time with friends close to you, you are filling your life with wonderful memories, laughter and funny moments, great, deep conversations, heartfelt caring, love, and support – all things that will help you grow as an individual and inject more meaning in our lives. They help us develop by increasing our sense of self-worth, self-confidence, belonging, and purpose. In short, friendships are a vital part of life.