Anyone who says they can live without friends is truly cheating themselves out of wonderful experiences. These friends can be from our childhood days, to college roommates, to neighbors and even those that we meet in our workplaces.
In our younger years they helped us learn how to be patient, wait our turn, and try new hobbies. As we get a little older, we learn that friends help us to weather the ups and downs in life. They may help us decide on a career or even perhaps become a mentor for us. We realize that friends provide a sounding board and a place for us to grow. They help to create a purpose in our lives.
The people that we bring into our lives show us how to forgive, laugh, cry and make conversations. These are components to all relationships. Through interactions with all people, our friends help us see that many of us have different worldviews. If you have chosen good friends, they teach you that it is ok to agree to disagree. It would be a very boring world if we all agreed on the same thing all of the time. Sometimes we must take a step out of our comfort zones and listen to other viewpoints.
A recent study conducted at Harvard concluded that having solid friendships in our life even help to promote brain health. Why? Friends help us deal with stress, make better life choices, which in turn helps us rebound from health issues and disease more quickly.
Let me add that of course, the choices in our friends make a big difference. Choosing positive friends can help us change our outlook on life for the better. We are happier when we choose to spend time with happy people. Does this mean that everyone should walk around like a big yellow smiley face all of the time?
We would not be human if we did that. Everyone has a moment that we need to help friends acknowledge and know that it is ok to have these feelings. Feelings can't be swept under the rug. Acknowledge and accept them and then ask if feeling this way going to help solve the problem. The answer is always a resounding NO! Some good advice is to give yourself or your friend some time to think it through and then decide what is something that you can do about some kind of negative problem.
Friends can't completely cure loneliness but they can help us during lonely times. Learning how to accept kindness and knowing when to reach out when we need help is a key to this hurdle. Each friend will bring something special to our lives. When we have down-to-earth, positive people in our life we will be more mindful of gratitudes and doing nice things for other people. It is contagious. We don't just live when we have healthy friendships, we thrive.
It is easy to think that we are living in gloomy times when we see heartache and worry around. It can bring out the negativity in any one of us. Yet, there is so much good in the world, as much as it has ever been. It is the small things that lift our hearts. Things like hearing the song bird sing when you step outside, hearing children laugh and play, walking through a garden admiring the flowers, listening to your favorite songs, and the list can go on and on. Concentrate on the positive and you will notice something or someone who will lift your spirits.