Sometimes holiday-time isn’t always the cheeriest. Perhaps you’re feeling stressed, lonely, or a bit bah-humbug-ish. Reaching out to friends can lift your spirits and offer the healthy boost you may need.

Who Are Your Friends?

Your friends are those who can help you celebrate the positive, enjoy the mundane, and support you through it all—including the worst of times. Sometimes this person is an old schoolmate, co-worker, neighbor, or even ex-spouse. If your friend happens to be a family member or an in-law, that’s a double bonus!

Why Friends Are Necessary

According to many health experts as well as the Mayo Clinic, friends play a significant role in our overall wellbeing. Adults with a strong support system tend to have a reduced risk of high blood pressure, depression, and obesity. Many studies have shown that those with robust friendships are even likely to live longer than their peers without the crony support.

Friends can help you:

 

– reduce stress by listening, talking, crying, and laughing together

– boost your self-esteem and confidence

– cope with traumatic events or illness

– choose healthier lifestyle habits (quit smoking, exercise, eat better, cut down on alcohol, etc.)

 

One study points out that being a role model for health and fitness rubs off on friends. Your friends can influence more positive behavior onto you, and the reciprocal holds true as well.

The Rewards are in the Effort

Maintaining a good friendship requires effort and care. Both people need to make keeping a connection a priority. Sometimes one person slacks off a bit, but that’s where the friendship requires a give-and-take (as do all types of relationships.)

Friendships are an investment

With technology, it’s pretty easy to reach and make a connection these days. Even texting “Hi!” can brighten someone’s day. Receiving a call from a friend can make your day cheerful, too. A brief email, sending a photo, or a dopey emoji works also. Facetime and Skype are great for those of us who are too far away to see each other in person.

Time For Some New Friends?

As with all types of relationships, it happens that people drift away from one another. It doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Sometimes life events (moving, starting families, death, divorce, etc.) create a chasm—and it is what it is.
Being in the market for a new friend is not uncommon. We just need to make ourselves receptive and available.

Ways to find new friends can be by:

-taking a class

-attending community events

-taking up a new hobby

-volunteering

-joining an exercise class or group

-joining a faith-based organization

-walking your dog or walking anywhere

Don’t be shy about reaching out. You never know who wants to be your new friend! Exchange emails, make a time to meet for a walk, coffee, or lunch.
Making and maintaining friendships satisfy the soul, and in turn, improve your overall health. Remember to always be kind, trustworthy, and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. You will attract what you offer…
And, always keep in mind, you are never alone. There is always someone else who feels the same and has the same needs. If you’re a good friend, you’ll make and keep good friends. Check out more tips on good health and relationships at DrDaveCampbell.com