As the saying goes, “We get by with a little help from our friends.” This is more than just a beautiful sentiment, there is scientific proof that friendship improves our lives in many ways!
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And if you don’t already know how valuable your friendships are, here are three reasons to celebrate all of the wonderful friendships in your life!
Friendships improve your physical health.
Having friends to support you during difficult times can make all the difference in bearing your burden successfully. According to a 2011 study published in Developmental Psychology, having the support of a friend during a stressful time can lift your spirits by actually lowering the cortisol levels in your body. Research has also shown that strong friendships can help you when you’re battling a disease, at risk for dementia or are experiencing depression.
Friendships boost your mood.
Researchers at Concordia University have discovered that reaching out to others and forming new friendships can increase the oxytocin levels in your body. According to Happify.com, people who spend 6-7 hours a day with family and friends are 12% happier overall than those who spend more time alone.
Friendship is contagious and builds connection.
Karyn Hall, Ph.D., director of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Center in Houston, Texas, says that friends can help you feel connected by showing you that you are part of something bigger. “A sense of belonging to a greater community improves your motivation, health and happiness,” she wrote in a Psychology Today blog. “When you see your connection to others, you know that all people struggle and have difficult times. You are not alone. There is comfort in that knowledge.”
So, do yourself a favor and reach out to a friend today to tell her how much her love and support means to you. It will be good for both of you!
If you are looking for a great gift idea to express your gratitude and love to a special friend, check out my art print that features the quote “A friend is one who overlooks your broken fence and admires the flowers in your garden.”