In the quest for better longevity and health, many people turn to herbal supplements, doctors, and tailored diets. They overlook a powerful weapon which helps fight depression and some diseases, slow aging, prolong life, and fasten recovery; friendship.
There is nothing on the whole wide world that is more prized than true friendship. The friendships we have are among the most valuable relationships we could ask for. Friendship is a very crucial element in the protection of our mental health.
We should talk to our friends and listen to them when they want to talk to us. These friendships keep us grounded, helping us get things in perspective. It is, therefore, a worth practice putting effort to maintain our friendships and make new friends. Besides need for friendship mental health require some more things and you can read about it in the mental health essays.
Friendships form one of the foundations of our ability to cope with the problems that life throws at us. The best thing one can do for their friend is just accepting them as they are. Below is how deep friendship influence people’s mental states;
It Prepares One for the Challenges Ahead
Tough tasks do not seem to be very difficult the moment you stand next to your friends. With friends nearby, the challenges we are to face do not look so tough. With the knowledge that overcoming obstacles is very important for self-development, deep friendships thus ease the tension and anxiety of the person.
Deep Friendships Help People Relax
Modern life is hectic, and friends that help us sit still and unwind are very invaluable for our career goals and long term cognition. Strong social connections act as a buffer against future cognitive complaints.
These cognitive complaints may include problems with memory, concentration, thinking, and decision-making, all of which are relatively common in the modern workforce. Deep friendships thus protect people against burnout and insomnia, giving them a time-out to rebalance from their professional lives.
It Causes Us to Live Longer
As weird as the statement above sounds, it is true. Deep positive friendships are associated with longevity. People with solid groups of friends are 22% more likely to live longer as opposed to individuals who have fewer friends. Surprisingly, researches find out that children and family have no influence on someone’s longevity.
Leading an intellectually stimulating life with the help of these deep friendships fosters cognitive vitality. Friends share common interests, which stimulate mental engagement and therefore encouraging quick thinking. All these help to keep the brain active.
Exercise is proven to be extremely beneficial for the brain, especially aerobic exercise. A brief exercise even for 20 minutes facilitates memory functions and information processing.
What’s more is that if you have fit friends, chances are very high that you are likely to stay fit too. There is a risk of individuals becoming obese when their friends are severely overweight too.
Thus, deep relationships and especially same-sex friends have a larger influence on weight gain than spouses or friends of the opposite sex. Exercising relieves the mind of stress and uncertainties, giving the person a new feeling and confidence throughout the day.
Close Friendships Predict Lower Anxiety
High-quality dyadic friendships have been described with a high degree of support and attachment. These chords allowed them to share intimate feelings which in the long run results to lower anxieties about things.
Multiple researches have found that adolescents who put close friendships first tend to have a higher sense of self-worth, fewer depressive symptoms and lower social anxiety by the age of 25, as compared to their counterparts who do not prioritize such friendships.
In as much as deep friendships influence people’s mental state, mental ill health as well affects friendships in the following ways;
- People with more severe forms of mental illnesses tend to have smaller social networks than others, having more family members as opposed to friends in their social circle.
- People with mental health problems anticipate rejection from people who are not their family because of the stigma which is associated with mental health. They tend to avoid social contact which is as a form of ‘self-stigma.’
- People who have long-lasting mental health problems tend to have relationships mainly with other people who are also suffering from mental health problems.
- People with fewer intimate relationships, with smaller social networks, find it more difficult managing social situations.
We are social animals by nature. Friendships have a tremendous impact on our lives, and it is thus important to ensure that we leave our friends feeling supported, happy, and understood.
We gain in various ways from the various friendships we keep. We should talk to our friends in confidence about things we cannot discuss with our families. As much as friends annoy us, they keep us going.
Friendship is an undervalued resource. Studies show that friends make your life better. Good friendships thus have a myriad of benefits which include increased feelings of belonging, increased levels of happiness, purpose, reduced levels of stress, as well as improved confidence and self-worth.