Why are friendships important?
Friendship strengthens mental health by:
- Increasing sense of belonging and purpose
- Boosting happiness and reducing stress
- Improving self-worth and self-confidence
- Reducing risk of depression
- Providing support during difficult times
Friendships change and grow. Healthy friendship should be mutually beneficial and positively contribute to your well-being.
A healthy friendship should value:
Nurturing Your Friendships Guide
Ways to show appreciation:
- Pay attention to what is happening in your friend’s life, their interests, and those close to them: Put your phones away during meals, ask questions, and be an active listener.
- Prioritize time to spend together: If your schedules don’t align, try texting or a quick Facetime. Remember, it’s about flexibility.
- Give a gift of gratitude. Showing gratitude not only benefits your own wellbeing, but it shows your friend that you took time to make them something.
Balconi, M., Fronda, G., & Vanutelli, M. E. (2019). A gift for gratitude and cooperative behavior: brain and cognitive effects. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, 14(12), 1317–1327. https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsaa003
Friendship and mental health. Mental Health Foundation. (2018, August 14). https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/f/friendship-and-mental-health.
Mayo Clinic staff. (2019, August 24). The health benefits of good friends. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/friendships/art-20044860#:~:text=Friends%20can%20help%20you%20celebrate,sense%20of%20belonging%20and%20purpose.
Newman, K. M. (2020, July 7). Why your friends are more important than you think. Greater Good Science Center. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/why_your_friends_are_more_important_than_you_think.