A group of friends seated at an outdoor patio laughing and eating pizza.

The Friendship and Wellness Connection

When it comes to taking care of ourselves, most of us already know the key components. We eat well, stay active, and try to get plenty of rest. We take quality vitamins, drink plenty of water, and even squeeze in the occasional brain workout. What more could we possibly do? Better question- what more could we possibly fit into our already busy lives? One important thing you can do for your mental and emotional health is something you’re likely already doing: maintaining strong friendships.

You probably don’t need dozens of scientific studies to tell you that strong relationships can help you feel better in countless ways, from combating loneliness to providing entertainment, and even offering emotional support. We know that friendships are beneficial to us because, well, we feel better when we’re with our friends and loved ones.

July 30th is International Day of Friendship. Join us as we celebrate #InternationalDayOfFriendship with these 7 great friendship-boosting tips.

1. Make Time for Each Other
We know life gets busy, but the absolute best way to keep your bond strong is to create shared experiences, and you can’t do that without making time for each other. When you set aside time for someone else, whether it’s to do something together or even just to talk on the phone, you send the signal to them that they are valuable to you. The busier our lives get, the more important it is to invest our time in these relationships.

2. Be Honest
It’s no surprise that honesty is one of the primary building blocks for a healthy marriage, but it’s also important for our friendships. Maintaining a relationship of honesty and integrity is vital for both people to feel like they can trust the other.

3. Be There to Help
The best way to be a good friend is be there for the other person. When you show up for a friend in situations when they need you, you send the message that you care about them and you will go out of your way to help when they need it.

4. Listen
Actively listening to your friends without interrupting or taking over the conversation to tell your own story is one of the best gifts you can give. Pay attention to what they are saying and ask clarifying questions. Sometimes all your friend needs is to feel heard.

5. Be Authentic
In a world disguised with digital profiles, authenticity has taken a backseat to filtered selfies and premeditated Facebook posts. When we’re with our friends, we should feel comfortable enough to be our true selves. Chances are, your friends will appreciate your genuineness, flaws and all.

6. Mend Fences
In any close relationship, there are bound to be disagreements, hurt feelings, or fights. The best thing you can do when hard times strike is to face it head-on. Although uncomfortable, you need to talk it through with your friend and work together to fix it. It’s best to do this at a time when you can speak calmly and with an open mind.

7. Be Encouraging
The healthiest relationships are the ones in which we are encouraged to be the best versions of ourselves. Work toward lifting your friend up, even if it means elevating them beyond your own status. When we love someone, we should always want what’s best for them.