We’ve previously spoken about how social interaction is key for our mental health – we’ve even shared studies on how socialising can ward off dementia in the elderly! In today’s Wellness Wednesday blog, we’re going to be focusing on friendships and why they are so important to our overall wellbeing. It’s actually been scientifically proven that friendships are vital for both our mental and physical health.

In fact, back in 2009, there was a study conducted on the impact of social relationships on our health. Results showed that of the nearly 300 participants, those who had the fewest social ties were the most likely to suffer from heart disease, anxiety and depression.

This year has made things a bit difficult when it comes to meeting up with our friends and planning fun days out, but it’s important to keep in touch still. Thankfully, keeping in contact couldn’t be easier – we can talk on the phone, text, chat on social media, and video call one another.

So without further ado, here are some huge reasons why friendship is so essential…

  1. Boost our mood.

Whether in person or virtually, friends can give us that much-needed pick-me-up whenever we’re down. When you can share your feelings with someone it can be a huge relief, plus friends can offer valuable advice and support. Not only this, they can provide distractions and a laugh with a friend releases endorphins into bodies making us feel good.

  1. Improve our confidence.

We all feel insecure at one point or another, and a compliment from a friend is sometimes all we need to boost our confidence again and make us feel good about ourselves. It’s a two-way street too – complimenting your friend not only makes them feel good but gives you a sense of purpose and boosts how you feel about yourself.

  1. Avoids loneliness.

This year especially has been lonely for many. However, virtual catchups with friends, socially distanced walks if allowed, or chats on the phone can really help to reduce the stress of feeling alone.

  1. Emotional support.

Your friends can support you by listening to your problems, validating your feelings, offering kind words of reassurance, or helping to distract you when you feel sad or upset.

  1. A sense of belonging.

Close friendships give us a sense of belonging and purpose. Even if you live in different cities to your friends, staying connected can make you feel more secure.

You may be aware that we are currently running a Wellness Challenge this month, and to tie in with today’s blog post we want to challenge you to reach out to five friends today. Send them a nice text message or give them a call and see how great you feel afterwards.

Click HERE to read our blog on how social interaction could help prevent dementia.

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