On August 7th, 2022, Friendship Day will be observed. Friendship may be described as a bond of affection shared by two or more individuals, and is much more powerful than affiliation. In an aspect that looks at mental health, friendship and mental health often correlate, as healthy and deep connections promote excellent mental health and well-being regardless of age or circumstance. These companions may participate in your good times and be there for you in your bad times.
When we have a mental health crisis, our natural reaction may sometimes be to withdraw and avoid our friends. Friendships, from the other hand, may play an important part in helping us manage or overcome a mental health illness, as well as combating the seclusion that frequently comes with it. We can form the greatest bonds with those who have helped us through difficult times. Also, it is important to make certain that your connections are fulfilling and not harmful to you. When you find yourself needing additional help, call out to your pals and be open about what’s happening and how they can help. Also, check in with them to see how they’re feeling and what you can do to help them. If a friendship is healthy, the more likely it will be that your mental health will benefit from it.
In researching how friendships benefit mental health, it is found by Mayo Clinic that friends can:
- Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
- Boost your happiness and reduce your stress
- Improve your self-confidence and self-worth
- Help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one
- Encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise
It is also important to remember that with the advances in today’s technology, connecting with friends seems so easy, but in reality it feels better to connect in person, whether this means doing fun activities together, or even just conversing with each other. Connecting with a friend, or multiple, in person can create a deep connection than one you would have online. Overall, friendships raise our confidence and self-worth; assist us in coping with major life events or trauma such as break-ups, sickness, or job loss; increase our sense of belonging; and urge us to avoid or modify harmful behaviours related to diet, exercise, alcohol, or drug use. Friendships are so important in mental health, as they provide so many benefits.
The information provided in this blog is not professional medical advice and should not be taken as such. If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out to a medical professional for guidance and help.