There is an undeniable connection between our mental health and friendship. It can significantly influence our mental health and well-being, but building or keeping it is not that easy. It’s vital that you understand the importance of friendship in your life, and what you can do to nurture it.
Being surrounded with reliable friends is beneficial to our mental health and well-being. Our friends celebrate with us during the good times and stand firm during the bad times. Friends also prevent the feeling of loneliness and give us a guarantee of companionship. Also, friends play a significant role in promoting our overall health. People with strong social support have a reduced risk of developing health problems, such as anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure.
It can be challenging to have a new one or save the existing friendships. Some friendships may hinder other life’s priorities. Deepening and maintaining good friendships takes an effort. There is enjoyment and comfort that friendship can provide, though it makes the investment of time and love more meaningful. The quality of friends counts more than the quantity. Meeting new people who might become our friends broaden our societal relationship as we exchange ideas with other people.
How to continuously cultivate our friendship?
Developing and maintaining healthy relationships involves a give-and-take effort between all parties. Knowing your friends know that you care about them and appreciate them can help strengthen your bond. So, how can we nurture friendships?
- Be an attentive listener. Your friends should know and feel that you are paying and sincere on your attention, practise eye contact, expressive body language, and genuine comments.
- Be available. Building a friendship takes quality time together. See to it that you meet your friends regularly or check on them even if it’s just through social media.
- Be kind. Ponder on your friendship as your ’emotive bank account’. Fill this account with acts of kindness, and expression of gratitude and empathy towards your friends.
- Be open. Build closeness by opening yourself and be willing to disclose personal experiences, and this shows that you let your friend hold a special place in your life.
- Be mindful. If you imagine the worst possible social situations, exercise your mindfulness to reshape what you are thinking. You know that you have your friends to help you practise your mindfulness.
- Be trusted. Being responsible and reliable are the keys to forming a solid relationship. Keep on your commitments, shared confidential information, keep it private between your friends.
Some of us are part of a group, and having friends around is fantastic; having a group of three is exceptional; here are the three ultimate reasons you need to treasure:
- Infuse maturity in your friendship. A group of three is more mature to deal with the childlike behaviours dealing with friendship. We appreciate a team of three, and there is always a better emotional balance and understanding among them.
- Realise that there is always a better decision to make. There are times that one person’s opinion is not enough. We need our third person’s opinion to break the confusion about any decision we wish to take.
- Seek for ultimate balance between disagreement and peace. When there is a time that you disagree with one friend, you know that the other one can always work as the peacemaker.
We can always start to develop a new friendship and reconnect with old friends. Investing time in making friends and strengthening your friendships positively affects our mental health and well-being, creating a brighter outlook in life with friends.
Rona dela Rosa is the editor of Psychreg. She is an associate professor at the Polytechnic College of the City of Meycauyan.