Nurturing Your Friendships

3 May 2021

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:

  • Honesty
  • Respect
  • Compromise
  • Communication
  • Trust
  • Understanding
  • Individuality
  • Self-confidence

Nurturing Your Friendships Guide

Ways to show appreciation:

  1. 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.
  2. Prioritize time to spend together: If your schedules don’t align, try texting or a quick Facetime. Remember, it’s about flexibility.
  3. 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.

Friendship and mental health. Mental Health Foundation. (2018, August 14).

Mayo Clinic staff. (2019, August 24). The health benefits of good friends. Mayo Clinic.,sense%20of%20belonging%20and%20purpose.

Newman, K. M. (2020, July 7). Why your friends are more important than you think. Greater Good Science Center.

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