Quality over quantity matters when it comes to friendship. Having a community of friends that you feel comfortable to be your true self around has been proven to be beneficial for your health, but what’s even better is having a few tight knit gals who know the depths of your soul like no one else does. There's truly a deep feeling of trust and connection that comes when another human understands the unspoken song in your heart when it starts to sound unfamiliar to you. There is an instant connection that happens when you feel comfortable to feel, say, do, and be exactly who you are around another person. They become your confidant and go-to person to run to when you feel like you’re wandering and have no clear direction. They're your biggest cheerleaders and support you on every step of your journey, even when you're miserably unsuccessful. It’s so important to have someone to see the most vulnerable bits of your soul, trusting that they will not place judgement, but love you with abundant amounts of grace and compassion. If this describes a friend of yours, well, then you have struck gold because that friend is worth keeping around until the end of time.
Now that you're probably teary eyed from thinking about how unbelievingly awesome your best friend is, we wanted to share some health benefits with you that will put a smile on your face to accompany those happy tears.
- Having close friends is said to extend your life span. This is amazing news. You and your best friend will get to exist together through some major life changing experiences. Marriage, children, grandchildren, becoming an empty nester, and so many other things. Chronic stress has been associated with social isolation, which over time causes wear and tear on your physical body. Having friends help you cope through difficult trials that you may experience in your life such as moving away from a place you dearly love, losing a loved one, serious illness, or being rejected from your dream job.
Friendship keeps the wheels in your brain turning, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. It's very important for our brains to continue thinking, learning, and exploring the world. Having conversations with people that you relate to and trust allow you to spill your heart out and release all the thoughts that are driving you crazy. Talking to someone helps you speak those things out loud and your friend can guide and encourage you in whatever is currently stressing you out. It’s also nice to have someone to talk to you about the world issues around us and process and challenge you on the things you believe.
Friends are an immune system booster. They create a sense of belonging and purpose, which reduces stress. While some stress is necessary and good, the kind of stress that keeps you up at night or causes you to overeat should not be welcomed into your system. That kind of stress is linked to illnesses such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, colds, and chronic migraines. Friendships reduce the stress by providing support through hardship, influencing you to make better decisions, and being a bottomless well of encouragement.
Friends motivate you to make healthy decisions in your life. Whether that be exercise, eating healthier, or diving into that hobby you’ve been talking about getting into for months—your best friend is there to support and push you toward a goal that benefits you in the long run. They only want the very best for you and that means that they will go to any extent to support you in that—going to yoga classes with you, buying you a new cookbook with delicious paleo based meals, or getting you a new watercolor kit so you can refine your painting skills. On the flip side, they're not afraid to discourage you from unhealthy habits in your life.
Goodness, these are incredible things to be grateful for! We'd encourage you to do some simple things for your friend today to show them how much you appreciate them:
- Buy them a cute little succulent or flowers to decorate their home(and bonus: boost their health!)
- Spend some quality time together and treat them to a cup of coffee or a manicure.
- Make them some home baked goodies.
- Write them an encouraging note!
- Gift them with your favorite essential oil.
Your best friend will appreciate any gesture of love you will give. Having a best friend in your life is imperative, for your own personal health benefit, but also theirs as well. They're an important support system to drive you toward making healthy choices for your physical and emotional health, because they also want you to stick around for the long run in their life. If you were thinking of a specific friend (or friends) while reading this, remind them why they are so special to you and how they’ve kept you healthy and well! 💛
Reference: How Friends Are Good For Your Health