By Tan Walker | UAB Community Health & Human Services Intern
Sometimes being with friends is all the therapy we need! Making connections is a primary human impulse. Researchers have found that people that have healthy friendships are deemed healthier and happier than those who are friendless (CDC, 2022).
Friends are essential to our well-being and are some of the most powerful bonds people have. They can also keep us grounded and help us manage the craziness that life throws at us, and provide an abundance of social support which is vital for our mental health. Having healthy friendships is powerful and has many benefits. It can help reduce stress, loneliness, and anxiety (Serene Health, 2022).
True friends will listen to our problems and support us through hard times, but it is important that we do the same for them. Here are four tips that will help us maintain healthy friendships:
1. Make time for friends – making an effort to see friends regularly is extremely important for maintaining a friendship
2. Communicate openly and honestly – try to share any thoughts and feelings with friends, and be open to hearing theirs.
3. Respect each other’s differences – It is important to value each other’s opinions and perspectives, even if we don’t always agree with each other.
4. Be supportive – Good friends are there through the good, the bad, and the ugly. If our friends are going through something, be there to listen and to provide the support that they need.
Whenever we are down, or battling with our mental health, it is comforting to know we have people in our lives that will be there to support us always.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022). Talking to Your Love Ones. Cancer Survivors. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/survivors/healthy-living-guides/emotional-health/talking-to-loved-ones.htm
Serene Health. (2022, August 16). Friendships are essential for mental health and Wellbeing. https://serenehealth.com/mental-health-and-friendships/