Having someone to lean on during stressful times is a great thing to have. Of course, you have your family. However, sometimes you are not comfortable sharing certain things with them. Here comes the role of your best friends. Here are a few reasons why best friends are so important.
Friends act as a great stress buster:
Want to beat the stress of everyday life? Call a friend over, arrange a lunch or dinner date, or go to a party with them. You will feel elated, your mood will get brightened up, and you feel high-spirited and fresh. Once you share your woes and vent out your feelings, you feel better. The solutions and assurance offered by friends make you feel at ease. You feel light and can deal with your stress effectively. A study found that blood cortisol levels of children were lower when they were hanging out with their friends. Cortisol is a hormone that is released when you are under stress. A friend can be your best shrink, given that they know about your past, emotional baggage, and true potential.
Friends improve your confidence level:
Everyone feels low and insecure once in a while. Some self-doubts may discourage you from taking some important decisions in your life. The concerns may be related to your professional or personal life. Friends help you see the positive aspects of yourself and build up your confidence and self-esteem. By offering praises and reassurance from time to time, they help improve your confidence levels. They bring humor, empathy, and positive validations in your life when you are low.
Friends help you inculcate good qualities in yourself:
If you are friends with people who are smart, hardworking, and ambitious or who help others, you too get inclined toward developing those qualities in you.
Best friends help you realize your full potential and help you grow to become the best version of yourself.
Friends offer you emotional support:
If you find yourself going through a tiring time, breakup, or mid-life crisis, spending time with friends can help you deal with any situation in a much better way. By providing emotional support, they can help you recover from a breakup, a major spat in your family, or any major illness.
If you are with friends who have a good sense of humor and who always look happy, you are also most likely to be happy in their company.
Friends are good for your physical health:
With a good network of friends, you can lower your risk of illnesses such as heart diseases, diabetes, and stroke. They can help you ditch bad habits such as drinking or smoking and help you form the good ones. They can motivate you to stick to your fitness and weight-loss program. It is much easier to achieve fitness and health goals when you have a buddy by your side.
Having a good circle of friends wards off feelings of loneliness. As per research, long periods of loneliness and isolation can make you fall prey to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart attack, depression, substance abuse, and even something as serious as cancer. Studies have reported that patients with breast cancer and ovarian cancer respond much better to cancer treatments when they receive good social support. They experience less pain and are likely to live twice as much as those who do not receive the required mental support.
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Adams RE, Santo JB, Bukowski WM. The presence of a best friend buffers the effects of negative experiences. Dev Psychol. 2011;47(6):1786-1791.
Hill EM, Griffiths FE, House T. Spreading of healthy mood in adolescent social networks. Proc Biol Sci. 2015;282(1813):20151180.