Friendships Can Lead to Better Mental Health
By Stephen R. Farris
Friends are important for us to have in our lives. Whether it's physical friendship, or virtual friendship, sharing moments and/or what's troubling us from time-to-time, can be a great outlet for our mental well-being.
Most of us live hectic schedules. We get up, get dressed and head off for work, usually at an early hour of the day. After work we usually have to deal with traffic problems and by the time we eventually get home, there's just enough time left in the day to eat supper, watch a sitcom or two, the news maybe, then off to bed.
It seems there's no time to include other people in our lives. However, it's important that we do.
Having few friends or none at all, can lead to depression and eventually shorten our lifespans. This doesn't mean you should get on social media, or hit the church social to get as many friends as you can gather.
What Can Friendships Do?
For starters, they can help keep your brain sharp. By sharp, it means if you make meaningful, quality friendships, you'll have a better chance of sharing deeper conversations about subjects you both have interests in. Someone that understands you and gets you.
Word of Caution: Friendships Can Change as We Age
During our youth we may develop friendships where more fun times are involved. It could be co-workers, players on your weekly pick-up basketball team or someone you might have met at the local pub or restaurant. Sure, you all had some fun times and they were great to hang out with. However, as we grow older our priorities in life change as well. Single friends may get married and have little or no time to hang out anymore. Others may move away due to their job, or their priorities change in different ways than yours.
A few things to remember concerning friendships, if you're starting to venture out or have already made yourself a circle of friends.
You can become tolerant of their bad habits - Not at all a bad thing. It just means you've adjusted yourself to how they act and respond and have found a way to live with that.
Expect to be ditched, or even ditch friends - For whatever reason friendships can last for a lifetime, or only for a short time. Both of you might find that the things that were in common may not be as much anymore and you eventually go your separate ways.
Friendship works in both directions - A friendship can't be one-sided. It's basically the same as a marriage, you have to give as much as you get.
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