BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|
In the intricate tapestry of our lives, there is a thread of connection that weaves joy, solace, and resilience: friendship. Beyond the laughter shared and memories created, true friendships harbor a profound impact on our mental wellbeing. As we embark on this journey of exploration, we will uncover the remarkable ways in which friendship serves as a powerful elixir for our minds and hearts. Welcome to a heartfelt exploration of the boundless benefits that friendship bestows upon our mental realm.
The definition of a friend for most of us is someone who we feel connected to and who is there for us in some way. According to friendship researcher Lydia Denworth, “it has to have these minimum three things: It is stable, long lasting bond; it is positive; and it is cooperative – it is helpful, reciprocal, I’m here for you, you are there for me  .”
According to Mayo Clinic  , “friendships can have a major impact on your mental health and wellbeing, but it is not always easy to develop or maintain friendships. Understand the importance of social connection in your life and what you can do to develop and nurture lasting friendships.” Additionally, friends can also:
- Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
- Boost your happiness and reduce stress
- Improve your self-confidence and self-worth
- Help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or death of a loved one
- Encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise
A landmark study by Holt-Lunstand at Brigham Young University  , affirms that “friendship has been linked with reduced depression and mortality. When people felt less disconnected, less lonely and more socially connected, they were less likely to experience depression or anxiety.” According to Forbes, “receiving the benefits of social connections is good for mental and physical health, but in addition, when you give help and support, you also gain  ”.
In conclusion, the extraordinary power of friendship to enhance mental wellbeing is undeniable. From providing emotional support in tough times to boosting happiness and reducing stress, true friends are an invaluable asset to our mental health. As we cherish and nurture these cherished connections, let us remember the profound impact they have on our minds and hearts. Embrace the beauty of friendship, and let it be a beacon of light, guiding us towards a healthier and happier state of mind.