Friendships can improve your health. Yes really!

Friendships enrich your life and can improve your health. Here's how:

  1. They can improve your self-confidence and self-worth.  Having good friends on whom we can rely on for advice helps improve our self-confidence and enables us to make better decisions for our lives. 
  2. They can help to reduce stress. A problem shared is a problem halved.  By creating a bond with another we can receive support both mentally and physically.  We can share our problems and receive input from another which takes us beyond the boundaries of our own knowledge and enables us to see things from a different perspective.  
  3. They enable us to change unhealthy behaviours.  When we have others in our lives they can model new ways of being. This enables us to see the possibility of doing something in a different way, to strive to do better and change unhealthy habits.
  4. They help to create a feeling of inclusion and participation.  The feeling of loneliness and isolation is a greater risk to mental and physical health. By being part of a tribe and forming a sense of community you can create a bond with another enabling you to have a meaningful connection; someone to trust and count upon.
  5. They allow us to have a greater awareness of self.  To enable the connection with another we first have to be connected with ourselves.  We need to be aware of suppressed emotions; things we have experienced but are fearful of, which if not released can manifest into physical and mental ailments and illnesses.  A connection with ourselves creates vitality and a feeling of wellbeing which will in turn form a good connection with another.
The connection with ourselves and a knowledge of what makes us who we are is the foundation to enable a greater connection and friendship with others.  By recognising who we truly are in terms of our values and beliefs and what may limit us in our lives, we give ourselves the choice to make a change within ourselves which will outwardly strengthen the bond and friendship with others.
— Rebecca Kelly, Haelan Therapy