Do you get by with a little help from your friends? Here’s how your mind, body, and spirit benefit from the power of platonic love.
Asking “why is friendship important?” is like asking why pizza is delicious. It just is. And yet, a 2019 study showed that the average American hasn’t made a new friend in five years.
Sounds like a lot of us are on Bumble BFF swiping, swiping, swiping in search of the platonic version of The One. Or maybe you’re lucky, and your life is the definition of #squadgoals.
Whether you’re seeking them out or maintaining your relationships, putting effort into friendships is worth doing. Not only does it give you a reason to order bottomless mimosas for two at brunch, but it also gives life a deeper sense of purpose, plus helps with stress-relief.
If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and just plain bad lately — and you’ve already tried eating healthier, exercising, or reorganizing your workload — look to the friendships in your life.
Nurturing that garden may be just what the doctor ordered.
Why is friendship important in general?
Maybe it’s all the romantic comedies, but society kind of tends to focus on romantic relationships. And yeah, being booed up is the best — but so is having an actual bestie.
Friendship comes with tons of benefits (you can probably think of some that are unique to your life), but here are a few. It means you’re less lonely, helps you grow emotionally, and makes you feel like you belong. Then, there’s our personal favorite: stress-relief.
Why friendship helps with stress relief
Okay, so about that stress thing. We’re going to talk about science for a second here, so bear with us.
When you hang out with your buds, whether you’re watching YouTube videos, hitting up happy hour, or just driving around singing along to the Best of the ‘80s playlist, what do you do? You laugh.
Laughing together with friends releases endorphins. Endorphins are essentially natural pain relievers that boost pleasure and alleviate stress. There was even a study using mice that showed that more endorphins made the little critters less nervous.
Think of yourself as one of those little critters (just with a much longer lifespan and a different relationship with your cat, fortunately). Without endorphins, we’re achy, moody, irritable, depressed, and groggy.
Other bestie benefits
Guess what? Friendship comes with even more benefits (no, not that kind… although, sometimes).
In addition to the stress-relieving power, it promotes better self-esteem and gives you a support system for difficult times in your life. It also helps you make healthier choices. Wait—why is friendship important for better decisions?
Think about it: You’re way more likely to stick to your gym habit if you’ve got a buddy to motivate you.
Friendship has also been linked to many health benefits, including a lower rate of heart disease. Who knew that all of your group selfies were having such a positive effect on your health?
Quality over quantity — just like mom said
A little caveat about the stress-relieving power of friendship: It only works if you actually like your friends.
It may be fun to stunt on the ‘gram with a huge group of people at a nightclub in Vegas. But those drinking buddies won’t reduce your stress unless you genuinely know them.
So, remember what mom taught you: Quality over quantity.
Build relationships that bring you joy, and know when to let go of friendships that bring you down. If a bud is unreliable, you can’t be yourself around them, or the relationship is one-sided (aka you’re always the one texting to make plans and their response is just k), it may be time to move on.
How to nurture existing relationships
For friendships that do deserve the #squadgoals title, it’s all about tending them. Do this by checking in regularly, being open about your feelings, expressing gratitude when they help you out, addressing conflict (lovingly!), and just being there.
If it’s been a while since your last epic hang, don’t be afraid to schedule a meet-up, even if it’s just coffee over Zoom.
Making new friends — feels impossible, but it isn’t. Trust us!
The million-dollar question isn’t necessarily “why is friendship important,” but how do you make friends as an adult. First of all, yes, it’s possible. Second, here are a few ideas:
You can volunteer, join a club, or take a class. Most importantly, you’ve got to be open to it. When someone asks you to hang out, say yes. You never know where a new friendship might bloom.
Why is friendship important compared to other relationships?
If you’ve been through or are currently on the roller coaster that is dating, you know that a lot can be uncertain.
And unlike the trials and tribulations of Tinder, platonic friendships can be a lifelong thing without certain pressures or expectations. The best of these are eternally open and unconditional, which is, uh, different than those fleeting swipes right.
Friendship + CBD gummies = Awesome
If you’re looking for some stress-relief — maybe just enough to put yourself out there and make some new buds — CBD gummies may be your new BFF. Much like friendship, these tasty treats can enrich your life, make you feel less anxious, and promote feel-good energy.
Enjoy them when you’re flying solo or when you’re chilling with your squad.
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