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The Importance of Spending Time with Friends (3 Reasons)




Meeting up with a good friend for a warm embrace, cabernet and charcuterie, and engaging conversation sure beats trudging through our monotonous days flying solo.


And there’s a reason for that: Good friendships actually possess superpowers for our souls.


Mountains of research prove that a solid friendship enhances health and happiness, providing an unwavering support system that nurtures our emotional wounds and inspires personal growth.


But it’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of life and neglect the very things that feed our mental and physical well-being.


When we're busy, the first thing we take off the schedule is time with friends. But that's not a good thing.



Reason #1 to spend time with riends: Having a good laugh with a friend triggers an endorphin response.


Laughing together awakens feelings of joy and pleasure. When we’re laughing, we’re reducing stress levels and entering a more relaxed state of mind. It brings us to a place of peace where we can more readily accept new ideas and better embrace the change that so frequently shake our emotional ground.


Reason #2 to spend time with friends: Physical touch impacts your overall wellbeing.


Physical touch from your friends-- a hug when you greet her or a quick arm touch when you're making a really dramatic point in a story-- has a massive effect on psychological and physical health and well-being. And the higher up on the ladder of social importance your companion resides, the bigger the benefit of that touch.


As a matter of fact, a study conducted by Robin Dunbar, an author and professor in the department of experimental psychology at Oxford College, shows that endorphins are increased by up to 30% through the simple physical touch of a close friend. So, that hour break in the workday to embrace and laugh with a friend over a chicken salad sandwich is a healthy choice all around.




Reason #3 to spend time with friends: It helps the relationship to flourish.


Really, any time spent nurturing a friendship is time well spent. You know the old saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder?” Well, it couldn’t be farther from the truth when it comes to friendships. They can easily decay without the proper care.


This isn’t to say a friendship should be high maintenance, it just means we can’t always expect a platonic relationship to flourish if it’s not fed. But if we nourish our friendships properly, the return is well worth the investment.


As we log hours on our friendship clock, we are building a support system that is invaluable in times of need. We are sculpting a shoulder to cry on during an intense break-up and a reliable advisor to help us when we need guidance and accountability.


But perhaps even more valuable than that- we are building a relationship that enables us to let our guards down, submit to vulnerability, and embrace the raw version of our true selves.


Yes, we can connect via FaceTime and communicate via text, but there's something about the natural unfolding of time when we're together to witness each other's thoughtfulness, compassion, and fear.


There is nothing that beats the feeling of being unapologetically you while being supported by someone who is being unapologetically them. When we can be 100% ourselves around someone, even on our worst days, we gain confidence and we begin to learn the meaning of unconditional love, which can then be transferred to romantic relationships if so desired. True friendships inspire healthy growth-- and some of these key moments happen when we are together.


Just as we cultivated lima beans to grow in Dixie cups as kids, through proper care our friendships can help us grow into the best versions of ourselves. Though the transformation may be subtle, they can help us to become better sisters, daughters, wives, mothers, and lovers. They can be the training grounds for building authenticity, vulnerability, communication skills, and commitment. They can boost our confidence and self-worth, develop our trust and sense of loyalty, and help us tap into the superhumans we actually are.


Takeaways

  1. Closely bonded friendships enhance health and happiness, provide support, and inspire growth.

  2. Laugh with and embrace your friends often for a natural endorphin boost.

  3. Invest time in friendships; the return is invaluable.


Sources

YouTube. (2022, February 15). Friendship and Social Relationships- Robin Dunbar. YouTube.

Retrieved January 17, 2023 from https://youtube.com/watch?v=4ya105tx73m

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