Lifestyle

7 reasons strong friendships are the key to happiness

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Having close friendships might be the key to happiness, according to science.

Think about it. How would your life be without your close friends? Your list of friends probably includes people with different personalities, backgrounds, and ideas.

Yet, they all have something in common. Real friends are people who genuinely know you, and they remain your friend anyway. They accept you for who you are and know that you do the same for them.

Why do you have friends? Is it just so you will have people for socialization, or are the benefits on a deeper level physically, mentally, and spiritually?

Here are seven reasons why close friendships may be the key to happiness and fuller life:

1. Offer purpose to your life

Think of what a boring world this would be without your friends. When you cultivate close friendships, it provides more purpose to your life. You look forward to spending time with them.

Sharing life with friends gives you a better sense of belonging. As you relate with others, you get a better picture of humanity and realize that you’re not alone. Maintaining a purposeful life is the key to happiness.

2. Reduce your stress and boost your mood

How many times have you felt stressed out to the max and reached out to a friend for guidance? Countless studies show that spending time with a close friend can minimize your stress and its accompanying symptoms. A friend’s empathetic ear may be what you need to calm your nerves and refocus.

It’s hard to feel blue when you are around friends who are positive and upbeat. Your friends’ infectious laughter is bound to rub off on you. When you surround yourself with positive people, you will have a positive outlook on life.

3. Boost your self-confidence

While flattery’s results are superficial, genuine compliments from friends can make you feel better about yourself. It feels good when someone you respect values your opinions and efforts. They can boost your spirits on a bad day and give you the push you need to make it through this crazy life.

4. Provides strength after a loss

Have you heard the old saying about the world laughing with you and then leaving you to cry alone? When you have a circle of close friends, they don’t leave you when the going gets tough. A true friend shines even brighter in the shadows of your grief, which is an essential key to happiness.

A loss isn’t just defined as the death of a loved one. Losing your job, divorce, and other upheavals can be just as devastating. Your friends don’t need to offer advice or give you false hope. Their loving and supportive presence can be a great comfort when you need it most.

5. Provides honest opinions

A real friend will be honest with you, even when the truth is difficult to confront. They can tackle challenging issues with compassion and grace. It may take a genuine friend to tell you that your new outfit doesn’t look as good on you as you think or broach the subject of a cheating mate.

When you are trying to make a crucial decision, close friends can be a source of valuable wisdom. They won’t push their opinions on you, nor will they offer unsolicited advice. As a key to happiness, real friends care enough about you to be honest.

6. Early friendships may help you develop romantic relationships

Did you know that you often learned some of the best skills for a healthy romantic relationship from your childhood friendships? You learned to care about others, how to share, how to be honest and faithful. Early friendships also gave you a lesson about healthy boundaries that are necessary for a stable romantic connection.

7. May contribute to a longer life

If you talk to the seniors in your life, they will probably share that the key to happiness and longevity is to be surrounded by friends. Many people in their golden years are still friends with people they knew as children. Because of the many benefits close friendship offers, many people live a longer, healthier, and happier life.

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