For health’s sake! How friendships foster wellness

by on July 8th, 2010 at 7:00 am

Many of us take friendship for granted as a part of life or something that automatically comes along with existence. But did you know that people who actively seek out spending time with friends are also healthier and live longer?

What many of us fail to realize is that friendships form an integral and crucial part of our development and help mold who we are. The security and acceptance we find in friendships also gives us strength and courage during trying times.

The link between emotional and physical health

Time spent with friends help us relieve stress, feel empowered, and provides fresh new perspectives when needed. Combined with natural remedies, our friendships can provide strong, effective stress relief!

Friends can also motivate us to accomplish many things, such as childhood dreams and professional and personal goals. They can also inspire a change in attitude, beliefs, and encourage new healthy habits… including reminding us to take time for our health.

Through friendships we also learn about human nature, sharing, empathy, forgiveness, and are ideally able to let our guard down and be vulnerable- without feeling judged. It’s safe to say that when in the company of a cherished friend, we are truly free to be ourselves.

Friendships come from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, which help us better appreciate different cultures and religions; a very rewarding experience.

Shared activities that are not related to work and family obligations also impart a sense of meaning into our lives that cannot be easily explained. Whether your bond includes a jog in the park, fishing, playing tennis, or checking out the new Italian restaurant in town, friendships are some of the most rewarding relationships in life. This of course, has a positive effect on our mood and overall well-being.

Married couples who regularly partake in activities with friends as a couple or on their own also report feeling happier and more fulfilled in their relationship.

Children learn much of their social skills at home from parents and siblings. However, at home, they are interacting in a “safe” environment. When children start daycare and school they have to learn to relate and interact on an entirely different level.

Mutual acceptance and loyalty are some of the valuable tools they will learn that will have a powerful influence on their personality and most likely their future.

Seniors who regularly spend time with friends have been known to experience a higher quality of life and live longer as well. As a matter of fact, some researchers believe that the reason women live longer than men is due to the support provided by the emotional bonds they share with other women.

Those who have relocated for work or study can find a healthy support structure at work or school, or joining a community center. Whatever you do, try to find time to enjoy an activity with someone.

While it is clear that sharing time with friends is a great way to promote health and well-being, sometimes the obligations and stresses of every day life weigh us down, making us feel tired and lacking motivation.

Sleeping disorders, emotional distress and feeling ‘burnt out’ can put a damper on our outlook and perhaps we decide we are not even good company for our friends.

Natural remedies in combination with a healthy lifestyle can be used to maintain healthy energy levels, relieve stress, stabilize mood, and promote healthy sleep patterns so we can enjoy the vitality and health needed to experience all that friendship has to offer—for many years to come!

MindSoothepromotes balanced mood, emotional health and feelings of well-being.

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