The Unbelievable Power Of Friendship

The Unbelievable Power Of Friendship

Welcome to Win Your Week - our weekly blog on all things motivation, mindfulness, life hacks and more!

Today we want to discuss why spending time with your friends is so important. 

For most people we see our friends on the weekend or catch up with them during the week because we want to check in or do a fun activity with them. But maintaining friendships is also important as it has a large impact on our health and wellbeing. 

Benefits of friendships

Having close friends enriches our lives. Friends can celebrate our wins with us as well as provide support during bad times. Having friends can prevent isolation and loneliness and give us the chance to offer essential companionship. 

Friends also play a significant role in promoting our overall health. With adults who have strong social connections having a reduced risk of depression and high blood pressure. In addition, studies have found that older adults who have meaningful relationships and social support are likely to live longer than their peers with fewer connections.

Why life is better with friends

Friendship offers a range of other health benefits, including:

  • Increasing our sense of belonging and purpose
  • Improving our self-confidence and self-worth
  • Boosting happiness and reducing stress
  • Encouraging us to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits

So, maintaining close friendship’s is good for our health, but how many friends should we have?

How many friends should I have?

As for how many friends we should have, it comes down the age-old 'quality over quantity!'

While it can be good to cultivate a diverse network, we may achieve the benefits of friendship better by nurturing more close, meaningful relationships.

While there is no denying that having friends is good for our health, it can be challenging to make and maintain friendships. But this is easier said than done. 

Why is it hard to make friends or maintain friendships?

Many of us struggle to develop new friendships or keep up existing friendships due to other responsibilities like work or caring for children.

This may result in us drifting apart from our friends during life or interest changes.

But, making new friends can be even harder. If you’ve ever tried to make new friends as an adult, you’ll probably see why loneliness is at an all-time high. Making new friends feels just plain hard.

But how do we meet new friends to increase our network if we are struggling to make or maintain friendships? 

Ways to develop friendships and meet new friends?

A great way to develop friendships is to reach out to people already in our social network such as old friends, family and work, or social colleagues. We can think through people we've interacted with, who made a positive impression or that we really enjoyed spending time with and getting to know.

As a rule: If anyone stands out, reach out!

Coffee or lunch is a great way to catch up with someone or maybe catch up over a cocktail or two, made with one of Cashmere Syrups Cocktail Mixers of course 😉

Making friends on the other hand requires meeting new people. The best way to do this is by going to events or places where people with mutual interest gather. We can try many ways of connecting with new people and if one attempt doesn’t work out, we can try another.

Making friends is a commitment and may require us to take the initiative rather than waiting for other people to reach out to us and several attempts may be necessary. 

Some great ways to meet new people include: 

  • Attending community events. 
  • Volunteering. 
  • Taking up a new interest.  

During this process, stay positive. We may not become friends with everyone we meet but maintaining a friendly attitude can help us improve the relationships in our lives. It may also sow the seeds of friendship with new acquaintances.

How can I nurture my friendships?

Developing and maintaining healthy friendships involves give-and-take.

Sometimes you're the one giving support, and other times you're the one receiving it. It's as important for you to be a good friend as it is to surround yourself with good friends, so we need to make sure we tell our friends we care about them and appreciate them.

To nurture your friendships:

  • Be kind and be a good listener. Ask what's going on in your friends' lives, maintain eye contact and open body language and offer words of comfort.

  • Open up. Build intimacy with your friends by opening up. Disclosing personal experiences and concerns shows that your friend holds a special place in your life.

  • Show that you can be trusted. Being responsible, reliable and dependable is key to forming strong friendships. 

  •  Make yourself available. Building a close friendship takes time. Aim to see new friends regularly, and to check in with them in between meet ups. 

Over to you…

It's never too late to develop new friendships or reconnect with old friends. Investing time in making friends and strengthening your friendships can result in better health outcome and a brighter outlook for years to come! 

While this process can take a lot of effort, the enjoyment and benefits friendship can provide, makes the investment worthwhile. 

Now go ahead and Win Your Week!