Friendships can have a major impact on your health and well-being. "A sweet friendship refreshes the soul." Proverbs 27:9 So what are the benefits and how do we go about developing and nurturing our friendships?
The Benefits of Friendship:
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, lack of exercise or poor moral choices
Studies have even found that older adults with a rich social life are likely to live longer than their peers with fewer connections. Developing and maintaining good friendships takes effort. The enjoyment and comfort friendship can provide, however, makes the investment totally worthwhile.
Try several of these ideas for creating new friendships:
Attend Community Events-look for a hobby you share
Volunteer-Offer your time and talents
Extend and Accept Invitations- Try this re-frame...instead of worrying about a full calendar consider the blessing in the invitation itself. It means you are loved and cared for.
Take Up a New Interest-No better time than the Present!
Join a Faith Community- I can't say enough about the family of faith. It's so instrumental to how my marriage and our children have grown over the years.
Take a Walk- Grab your kids or pet and head outside. Just smile. It's a small gesture that goes a long way.
Developing and maintaining healthy friendships involves give-and-take. Sometimes you're the one giving support, and other times you're on the receiving end. Letting friends know you care about them and appreciate them can help strengthen your bond. It's as important for you to be a good friend as it is to surround yourself with good friends.
Here are a few ways we NURTURE the friendships we already have:
Be kind. This most-basic behavior and yet sometimes it is lost in the ones we love the most.
Listen up. Ask what's going on in your friends' lives. Don't do all the talking all the time.
Open up. Build intimacy with your friends by opening up about yourself. Vulnerability creates one of the most powerful connections.
Show that you can be trusted. Being responsible, reliable and dependable is key to forming and maintaining strong friendships.
Make yourself available. Building a close friendship takes time — together. Pick up the phone, send a text, or write an email...don't wait another day. God brought them in to your life for a reason.
Remember, it's never too late to build new friendships or reconnect with old friends. Investing time in making friends and strengthening your friendships can pay off in better health and a brighter outlook for years to come
Loving all of you!