The Importance of Friendship in Mental Health

Many things affect our well being but we can underestimate the importance of friendship in mental health. Learn why friendship is so important.

When we’re kids, we never doubted how vital friendships are to happiness. No matter where we are or what we’re doing, we befriend other kids, and sometimes even share our life stories with them! As we reach our teen years, our friendship groups can even become more fundamental to happiness than our family units. In fact, most of us learn who we are and what we want from the relationships we build at these times!

Sadly, when you get a job and a family of your own, friendship can start to feel quite a bit less critical. In reality, though, being able to laugh with your closest friends or just step out for a few hours can have immense healing effects, whether you’re 8 or 80. Instead of neglecting friendships as you get older then, consider the following reasons that holding onto them can help you fight negative thoughts like little else.

A chance to refresh

Spending time with your partner, kids, and loved ones is fantastic, but it doesn’t always help you to get out of your head. By comparison, friends tend to be outside of that ‘worry zone.’ As such, meeting up for lunch, coffee, or just a chat could see you refreshing your mentality. Even if you don’t expressly discuss your problems, this opportunity to step outside can help you gain much-needed perspective. You’d be amazed how much that can help you overcome mental hurdles.

Time to talk about how you’re feeling

Talking to a friend about how you’re feeling will prove especially beneficial for getting past negativity and setbacks. Talking to your family is fundamental too of course, but they’re often too involved to offer the solutions you need. By comparison, a friend will spot changes in behavior straight away and will be the first to help you overcome things large and small… like debt with the bank (at last), or tackle addictions with intensive outpatient rehab if necessary. Our friends know us well enough to see when we’re struggling, but they’re out of the picture enough to always offer the support we need without the emotional attachments that often exacerbate negativity instead.

A sure sign you aren’t alone

The chances are that your partner has the same worries as you. After all, your finances are closely linked, as are your lifestyles. But, it isn’t until you share concerns with friends that you realize you really aren’t alone. Everyone has much the same negative thought patterns at times, and your friends will be no different. By talking to them and seeing this, you’ll again feel much more positive to face negativity head-on. You might even be able to do with a few new coping mechanisms under your belt!

Fitting friendship into adult life isn’t easy, but it is fundamental. Without this, it’s all too easy to spiral into negative habits, thought processes, and more. Make sure it doesn’t happen by prioritizing your friendships as well as your family, and letting them keep you sane.

Many things affect our well being but we can underestimate the importance of friendship in mental health. Learn why friendship is so important.

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