Friendships has a major impact to improve your health and well-being, but making or maintaining friendships isn’t always easy. Understand the importance of social connections in your life and what you can do to build and maintain lasting friendships.
What are the benefits of friendships?
Good friends are good for your health. Friends can benefit you, celebrate the good times and support you in the bad times. Friends prevent isolation and loneliness and allow you to get the company you need. Friends can also:
- Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
- Increase your happiness and reduce your stress
- Improve your confidence and self-esteem
- Help cope with trauma such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one
- Encourage changing or avoiding unhealthy lifestyle habits such as excessive alcohol consumption or sedentary lifestyles
Friends also play a vital role in promoting your overall health. Adults with strong social connections are at lower risk of many serious health problems, including depression, high blood pressure, and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI). In addition, studies have shown that older people with meaningful connections and social support are likely to live longer than their less-connected peers.
Why Is It Sometimes Difficult To Make Or Keep Friends?
Many adults find it challenging to make new friends or maintain existing ones. Friendships may take precedence over other priorities, such as work or caring for children or elderly parents. You and your friends may have broken up due to changes in your life or interests. Or possibly you’ve moved to a new community and still haven’t found a way to meet people.
Developing and maintaining good friendships takes effort. However, the company’s joy and comfort to bring the investment is worthwhile.
What Is A Healthy Number Of Friends?
Quality matters more than quantity. While it can be good to maintain a diverse network of friends and acquaintances, you can feel a greater sense of belonging and well-being when you cultivate close and meaningful relationships that see you through thick and thin.
What Opportunities Are There To Meet New Friends?
It is possible to make friends with people already on your social network. Think about the people you have dealt with, even casually, who have made a positive impression on you.
- You can make new friends and maintain existing relationships by:
- Keep in touch with people you’ve worked or taken classes with
- Reconnect with old friends
- Reach out to people you’ve enjoyed chatting with at social gatherings
- introduce neighbours
- Take time to communicate with family members.
If you remember someone you would like to know better, reach out to them. Ask friends or mutual acquaintances to share the person’s contact information, or better yet, introduce yourself again with a text message, email, or a personal visit. Invite for coffee or lunch.
To meet new people who could become your friends, you have to go places other people are. So don’t limit yourself to a single strategy for meeting people. The broader your efforts, the greater your chances of success.
Stamina also plays a role. Instead of waiting for invitations and keeping trying, take the initiative. You may have to make plans several times before you can determine if your interest in a new friend is mutual.
For Example, Try Several of These Ideas:
Participate In Community Events.
Look for groups or clubs around a common interest or hobby. You can find these groups online, or they may appear in the newspaper or on community bulletin boards. There are also many websites to help you make new friends in your neighbourhood or city. For example, do a Google search using terms like [your city] + social network or [your neighbourhood] + quotes.
Volunteer your time or talents at a hospital, place of worship, museum, community centre, charity group, or other organization. You can build strong bonds when working with people with common interests.
Make And Accept Invitations.
Invite a friend over for lunch. If you invite a social gathering, say yes. Reach out to someone who recently asked you for an activity and returns the favour.
Take Up A New Interest.
Take a college or community education class to meet people with similar interests. Take a local gym, senior centre, or community gym class.
Join A Religious Group.
Take advantage of special activities and events to meet new members.
Go For A Stroll.
Take your kids or pet and go outside.
Above All, Stay Positive.
You may not be friends with everyone you meet, but a friendly attitude and behaviour can help improve the relationships in your life. You can also sow friendships with new acquaintances.