Happiness is a lifelong pursuit. Two important ingredients in lifelong happiness are having a connection with others and developing deep, lasting friendships. Friends are a gift to be treasured, and their role in our lives include the ability to bring us happiness and joy. Here is how your friends and your happiness are related.
More Sociable People Are Happier
It has been shown in multiple studies that individuals who are more sociable are also happier people. As we age, it gets more difficult to find friends and meet people than when we were children. Those who seek out friendships and rate this as important, also rate themselves as being happier.
Individuals who isolate themselves fall more easily into depression and stress. Introverts need friends just as much as extroverts do, and friends can help take the edge off of loneliness and sadness. Even if you are not a natural extrovert, make a point of building friendships in order to contribute towards your mental health and happiness.
Strong Friendships Can Lessen Depression and Stress
People who rely on others to lift themselves up tend to be less stressed and depressed. Having a close friend you can talk to about your problems can serve as an important aid in releasing negative feelings. Confiding in a friend tends to reverse feelings of loneliness, and most friends offer words of comfort which affects you in a positive way, knowing that someone cares.
Being the one your friend asks for encouragement has positive benefits too, as it enforces the belief that you are needed and important. Having a happy friend heightens a person’s happiness, yet having a sad friend doesn’t affect you in equal proportions. This means that the benefits of friendship always outweigh the drawbacks.
Everyone collectively gains benefits through friendship, no matter whether you or your friend start out happy or not.
Positive Friends Impact the People around Them
Happiness is contagious. When you are around someone who is positive, life feels better. It doesn’t matter how stressed you might feel when you are alone; getting together with a good friend is therapeutic.
Make a choice to spend the majority of your time with people who are committed to a positive outlook on life. Encourage friends who need encouragement, but spend most of your time with those who are uplifting to your emotions. You will find yourself feeling more and more that way as time goes on.
Be the positive friend who encourages others as well. As the positive energy rubs off on you, so it should then rub off on those around you. Make a choice to encourage your friends, and to leave them feeling better than before they saw you.
Friends Adjust to Your Needs
Close friends have been shown to be flexible in their support of us. This means that if you are trying to lose five pounds for fun and you’re being tempted by a craving, a good friend will likely indulge with you.
On the other hand, if your health depends on losing the weight, a good friend is more likely to hold you accountable and help you stick to your decision. Good friends help you say no when it matters and help you say yes when you simply need to de-stress.
Friendships are important in regards to happiness. When you’re a good friend who also chooses other good friends, the benefits multiply. Choose friendship and enrich your happiness.
When we moved to Texas, I learned how difficult it was to make friends as an adult. I was surprised because when I had moved to Atlanta 3 years before, I didn’t have much trouble — the friends I made there are still some of my closest confidantes. My difficulties here probably were due to the life changes; I was now married with kids. The main adults I talked to were directly associated with my children. Not necessarily the best foundation…
I have some good friends here now — it just took more work than before. Friendship is a little different now because we have other obligations too. Even still hanging out with my friends make me happy…especially when we talk about the good old days LOL. Am I telling my age?
Enjoy your weekend!
Loving Life–The Reboot!
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