Updated: Mar 23
It is that time again, the season when we take time to slow down and pay extra attention to our loved ones. When we remain still enough to remember that the most important things in our lives are not our material possessions or personal ambitions, but our nearest and dearest.
This important group of people includes our friends—those who may not be bonded to us by “blood” but who we connect with on a deep spiritual level. In this post, we will talk about how important these relationships are and why we should make sure we continue to nurture each and every single one of them.
Why spending time with friends is important
There are many proven mental health benefits to spending time with friends. Because human beings are social creatures by nature, we need to cooperate and connect with others in order to be happy, functional members of society. Spending time with people we have bonded with is essential to our ability to not just live, but to thrive.
Here are the 5 best reasons why spending time with friends is so important.
1. Gaining a sense of belonging.
When you develop and maintain deep bonds with others, you start to attach more value and meaning to your life. Your relationships give you an opportunity to not just to receive companionship, but to offer it to as well. This helps reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation, an awareness and appreciation of not being alone in your struggles, and developing within you a sense of purpose and value.
2. Coping with stress and trauma.
Friendships are important in helping you deal with stress and trauma. By having a support circle to turn to when you are overwhelmed or hurt, you have an opportunity to release and move on from the negative thoughts and feelings associated with painful situations. Your ability to recover from stressors improves significantly because you have a positive and supportive community behind you.
3. Supporting good habits.
Another great benefit of good friends is the positive influence they can have on your life. A good friend is not going to sit idly by and watch you continue habits that negatively impact your life. Friends can help influence you to take better care of yourself—work out more, stop smoking, escape bad relationships, etc. And they can also be your loudest personal cheerleader when you sign up for any number of those currently popular self-improvement challenges.
4. Improving your self-esteem.
Healthy friendships are important to your self-esteem. Because your friends show you that you are loved and important, it can help to reinforce that vision in how you view yourself. When you feel safe to share your insecurities, a good friend will listen to your worries and help support feelings of confidence to counter those insecurities. Your friends can teach you to love yourself the way they already deeply love and value you.
5. Improving your mood.
When you have a deep bond with a friend, it may often seem like no one can really get into your mind the way they can. When you are down, they know just how to cheer you up. Or at least how to support you through the rough patches. When you spend time with the people who really “get” you, you are guaranteed to lead a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life.
It is clear that friendships are an essential part in helping maintain good mental health. But it is also true that life often distracts us from the things that are most important. Let’s strive to keep maintaining our friendships at the top of our list of priorities.
How do you plan to spend time with friends this holiday season?