Friends are Good for your Health

by Jo-Ann Downey

in Wellness

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The health of your friendships effects your overall health and wellness. As shared in “What is Wellness?”, being your best possible self – physically, mentally, and emotionally –  is what wellness means to me.  Step away from the computer, leave work on time, schedule “friend time” on your calendar….friends are an important part of life and are good for your health.  Studies show that friendships prolong life and promote brain health as we age!

Benefits of Friendships

∞ Moral support and encouragement
∞ Fun, adventure & a variety of life experiences
∞ Social interaction
∞ Source of information and wisdom
∞ Problem solving assistance
∞ Increased self-esteem
∞ Sense of belonging and purpose
∞ Better ability to manage stress
∞ Healthy habit role models and support system
∞ Opportunity to share and expand your accomplishments and joys
∞ Assistance during challenging times

Good friends are good for your physical, mental, and emotional wellness. In fact, just knowing that you have friends is beneficial to you.

∞ “We do not so much need our friends’ help that helps us, as the confident knowledge that they will help us.”  Epicurus (BC 341-271)

Step Away from the Computer!

To have good friends, you need to be a good friend.  In today’s hectic world you need make a commitment to spend quality time with friends.  In doing so, your intentions and attitude (“When your Relationships are Good, your Life is Good”), your listening skills (“Silence is Golden…and Pauses are Too”), how you see others (“Seeing from your Heart”), and focusing on open-ended questions (“Open-Ended Questions Build Relationships”) are essential communication skills.

Choose your Friends Well

Not all friends are good for you. If someone causes more stress in your life, only connects with you to complain or when they need help (“bad weather friends”), or participates in unhealthy behaviors, then you need to reconsider your friendship.  Friends support each other through difficult times, however, joy should be present.  Good friendships are a two-way street and the ability to give and receive feedback in a healthy way is essential for long term, positive friendships.

Quotes about Friendship

∞  “ I keep my friends as misers do their treasure, because, of all things granted us by wisdom, none is greater or better than friendship.”  Pietro Aretino (1492-1556)

∞ “ Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow-ripening fruit.” Aristotle (BC 384-322)

∞ “ Friendship makes prosperity more brilliant, and lightens adversity by dividing and sharing it.” Cicero (BC 106-43)

∞ “True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it is lost.” Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832)

∞ “ The only way to have a friend is to be one.” Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

∞ “ No man is useless while he has a friend.” Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

Very Smart Girls know that good friends are good for your health.
Very Smart Girls know that you need to be a good friend to have good friends.

photo credit: Ed Yourdon

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