When we start down the path of wellness, it's important to remember our mental health is equally as important as our physical wellbeing. We often focus on eating right and exercising, but we can forget to care for our minds.
Just like our bodies, our minds need proper nourishment and care. One of the kindest things you can do for your mental health is to spend time with your friends!
Friendships are so much more than just having someone to talk to. They're essential for our mental health and wellbeing. Think about it: can you remember the last time you had a good belly laugh with your friends? Or confided in them about something that was really bothering you? If you can't remember, you might need to make some more time for your friends.
Why Spending Time With Your Friends Is Good for Mental Health
As we grow older, the people we hold dear to us can change. Some friends move away, others get married or have kids, and our schedules become more hectic. It's easy to let friendships slide, but it's essential to maintain them where possible. These are the people who know us best and who we can be ourselves around. Friendships provide us with support, love, and laughter - all things that are essential for good mental health.
Let's discuss some reasons why spending time with friends is brilliant for our mental health:
A Support System
One of the best things about close friendships is that they provide a built-in support system. Good friends are there for you when you're going through tough times and celebrate with you during the good ones. Friends just know how to make you feel better when you're down and how to keep you grounded when you're on top of the world.
Anxiety, stress and depression can all take a toll if we don't have a sound support system. When going through a trying situation, it can be easy to shut ourselves off from the world and wallow in our misery. Doing this not only isolates you from those who care but can have a significant impact on your mental health.
Having friends you can rely on can make a world of difference. Sometimes all we need is someone to lend a sympathetic ear or give us a hug. Other times, we can do with some tough love to help us get out of our funk. But either way, it's important to have people who we can lean on in our lives.
Sense of Belonging and Connection
Another great benefit of friendships is that they provide a sense of belonging and connection. When we have a strong relationship with someone, we feel connected to the world around us. Humans are social creatures, and we often need to feel like we belong in order to thrive.
When we feel validated by those closest to us, it can have a hugely positive effect on our wellness. On the flip side, feeling disconnected from others can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, which can negatively impact our wellbeing.
If you're feeling lonely or like you don't belong, reaching out to friends and family can make all the difference. Even if you can't physically be around them, a phone call or video chat can help to ease those feelings of loneliness.
Boosts Self-Esteem and Confidence
When we're around friends who make us feel good about ourselves, it can be easier to see the positive in situations. Friendships can make us feel appreciated and valued, two essential things for healthy self-esteem. Our friends can also give our self-esteem and confidence a much-needed boost.
If you're feeling down about yourself, spending time with friends who make you feel good is a great way to boost your confidence. Good friends push us to be our best selves and accept us for who we are. They also help us see ourselves in a more positive light, which can hugely benefit our mental health.
Having a circle of friends, who we can rely on, also helps us stay accountable and on track with our goals. Whether we're trying to eat healthier, exercise more or quit a bad habit, knowing your friends are cheering you along the way is a great motivator.
Can Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Finally, spending time with friends can also help to reduce stress and anxiety. When we're around people we trust and feel comfortable with, it can help us to relax and let go of our worries. Laughter is also a wonderful way to reduce stress and anxiety, and what's better than spending time with friends who make you laugh until your sides hurt?
Whether you go for a walk, have a picnic in the park or just stay in and watch a film, quality time with friends is sure to help reduce your stress levels.
What to Do if Friendships Are Negatively Affecting Your Mental Health
Friends are supposed to be there for us during the good and bad times. But sometimes, friendships can hurt our mental health. If you feel even worse after hanging out with certain friends, it might be time to reassess your relationships.
If you notice your friends are consistently putting you down, making you feel bad about yourself or putting you in difficult situations, it's time to have a chat. Let them know how their words and actions are making you feel. If they care about you, they should be willing to make some changes.
It's also important to set boundaries with harmful or toxic friends. You don't owe anyone else your time and energy, so if you need to take a break from certain friendships, do what's best for you. Your mental health should always be top of your priority list.
Spending time with friends is essential for our mental health. Good friendships provide us with a range of benefits, all of which are vital for a healthy mind. If you're feeling lonely or down, reach out to your friends and family. Spending time with friends who make you feel positive is sure to improve your mood and mental wellbeing.
If you ever feel you're struggling with your mental health, you can reach out to a professional for help. Friends are a brilliant support system, but they're not always equipped to deal with broader mental health issues. Talking to a doctor, therapist or counsellor could be precisely what you need to start feeling better. Remember, your wellness is always worth fighting for.