Health Tips

How healthy friendships improve our well-being

A guest post by Chloe from Nixies Nook about the importance of healthy friendships.

Let’s face it, making friends as an adult can be difficult. We don’t have the same structure or time as we did growing up, and nurturing long-lasting friendships can seem like an impossible task.

But, something I’ve learned in my late twenties and early thirties, is just how important platonic friendships are to our overall well-being.

Friends help break up feelings of isolation and loneliness and can play a pivotal part in boosting our self-confidence. While our family can sometimes make us feel pressured or even misunderstood, good friends are on hand to encourage us to be our authentic selves.

group of ladies as friends

My friends are some of the most important people in my life besides my husband and my cats. While I’ve had many connections come and go, there are a select few who’ve stuck around for the long haul.  They’ve helped me rebuild my confidence and they’ve shown me what true human connection is.

Five ways healthy friendships help improve our well-being.

They can help improve our self-esteem.

Good friendships improve our well-being by helping us develop a positive self-image. They can help us see ourselves in a more positive light, something which we all struggle with on occasion. All of this helps improve confidence, and self-worth and therefore helps us lead happier and healthier lives.

The bottom line is that if you want to celebrate all the little things you do, trust your friends. Good friends take the time to praise and celebrate each other for even the littlest of achievements. Even the things you don’t tell just anyone, your friends will have your back.

Personally speaking, my best friend was the first to know when I started a blog and continues to be my biggest supporter, besides my husband. He sees the work I put in, reads most articles I write and even offers a hand in helping brainstorm new ideas. Thanks to him my self-esteem has skyrocketed and I have a higher sense of self-worth.

But what if you’re going through a difficult time in your own life? Surely it’s hard to feel joy for someone else’s success, even if they are your friends?  While it can be hard to watch our friends succeed when our own lives may be in turmoil, it’s important to set aside your own jealousy.

It’s valid to feel left behind, and you most certainly should process that emotion in your own space.  But try to remember that your time will come and when it does your friends will be on hand to celebrate with you.

Good friends are always on hand to help.

How many times have you needed support in your life, moral, emotional or even physical? Good friends are there for each other through all of these. They can offer a listening ear, a helping hand and more.

I can think of several examples of times in my life when my friends have been my anchor. From the death of my grandparents to my own brush with illness, they were there to offer advice, listen, and even fetch me groceries.

Next time you need a couch moved why not call on your friends to help you out? If the friendship stands true, then you’ll never have to lift furniture alone.

Friendships are a great mood booster!

What better way to boost your mood than to spend an evening with a good friend? Or to pick up the phone and unload your troubles? It doesn’t matter how you go about it, by simply speaking to a close friend we can instantly boost our mood and release those feel-good hormones.

In times of stress, I’ve found it a great comfort to simply send my worries to my best friend through Whatsapp. Even if he doesn’t respond, he knows that the act of putting it out there helps get it off my chest. And if he has input or says something as simple as ‘I’m here for you,’ it makes all the difference.

Friendships can help ward off loneliness

Loneliness is normal from time to time, even when we have good friends. But long-lasting friendships can help ward off long-term loneliness which can be seriously detrimental to our overall health.

Over the last few years, we’ve all experienced some degree of loneliness due to the ongoing COVID pandemic and the lockdowns that came with it. However, it was during this time that my husband and I discovered the joy of connecting socially with our friends. We spent Saturday nights doing virtual quizzes, Sunday evenings playing online video games and even hosted ‘dinner’ parties over Zoom.

Even just chatting with our friends made us both feel less isolated and helped us both come to terms with our various anxieties.

Our friends can offer a much-needed reality check

While our friends have our back, they shouldn’t be afraid to call us out. You can offer a reality check without being nasty or rude about it. I appreciate honesty, and much prefer it when my friends are honest with me rather than enabling poor behaviour.

True friends are able to give us the harsh facts that we don’t necessarily want to hear, and vice versa. If I’m acting inappropriately or self-sabotaging, I appreciate that my best friend doesn’t hold back. He’s by no means rude but isn’t afraid to give me a kick when I need it. In a way, he provides much-needed motivation when it’s otherwise lacking.

Can you think of any other ways your friendships have helped you?

We would love to hear from you in the comments. It can something as small as receiving a handwritten note or as big a gesture as an all-expenses-paid trip!

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How healthy friendships improve our well-being

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