By Laura Stec
Happy Valentines – Let’s Be FriendsUploaded: Feb 13, 2017
A changing relationship recently sent me that ol' classic line....
Let's be friends.
My first thought was Friends? Huh, ok then..... your move. I’ve been nothing but a friend to you, while on your end…well…. It got me wondering, what does being a friend mean? Can we actually recognize friendship when we see it? Adult culture seems unable to connect at times, like many of us don’t believe people want to be friends, or that everyone is too busy to care.
I starting mulling this around after I got a newsletter from my friend Christy. Christy Pinelli is a realtor with kW in the Portola Valley/Palo Alto area.
I liked this little story in her letter. It's a great reminder that while Valentines is the perfect time to celebrate romantic love, personal friendships need care and cultivation too.
The Benefits of Making Time for Friendship
Adults often find it difficult to form or maintain friendships, as work, family, and other obligations tend to take priority. However, research indicates that taking the time and energy needed to develop friendships is beneficial to physical and mental well-being. Here are a few noteworthy benefits of friendship for adults:
• Friendship supports mental health. In addition to bringing joy and warding off loneliness, friends can reduce stress, boost self-confidence, and mitigate the effects of trauma, like divorce, illness, or loss of a loved one.
• Friends can encourage you to live healthier lifestyles and avoid harmful habits, such as lack of exercise or excessive drinking. At the same time, it is possible to adopt the unhealthy habits of your friends, so be sure to choose your social network carefully and recognize when someone is having a negative influence on you.
• Adults with strong social support networks are less likely to develop major health problems, such as high blood pressure and depression. Scientists believe that isolation and the loneliness that comes with it may cause chronic stress, which has a negative impact on physical well-being.
• Elderly people with active social lives tend to live longer than those with more solitary lifestyles. In addition, older adults who experienced high levels of loneliness were more likely to develop dementia. Scientists hypothesized that a perceived lack of social connections contributed to the risk of cognitive decline.
If you tend to be an introvert or find that your social calendar is less than full, remember that quality is more important than quantity; one or two close friends may be more likely to offer these benefits than a large network of acquaintances. Regardless of the size of your social circle, taking the time to cultivate real friendships will undoubtedly be a worthwhile investment for your physical and mental wellness.
Food Partiers! know one way to nurture friendship, invite folks over for a home cooked meal, or bring something yummy to them.
Next time you see your dear friend, please give them a hug and a kiss from me.