6 Reasons Why Friendships Increase Your Well-Being

Have you experienced how busy life can be, between family, work, volunteering and the supporting roles of parenting, that time with friends go the back burner? I am in such a place right now. With the end of the academic year wrap-up, it seems like every night and weekend is filled with an event or obligation or celebration of some ending.

Time for friends? Not right now, which is tough, as I am craving friend time sans children.

Since becoming a mother, my children’s needs and schedules have almost always been the anchoring point of my calendar. And with four, well, there’s a lot to juggle.

Making the time to connect and spend time with friends often feels challenging, as coordinating an outing requires finding a time when everyone is free from family, work, and other obligations.

There is some comfort knowing the vast majority of my friends and moms I know are struggling with exactly the same thing: finding time for friends.

Friendship Doubles Our Joy and Divides Our Grief

– Swedish Proverb

Social relationships are an important component of well-being. In the age of social media where the emphasis is on the number of friends, followers and ‘likes,’ a person has, the real importance in friendships is the quality, not the quantity, of one’s social relationships.

Healthy relationships and friendships have the following qualities: kindness, support, companionship, trust, respect, and compassion. And not to be overlooked, healthy relationships provide emotional support in times of celebration, stress, and crisis.

Not all relationships require the same level of connection, support, and companionship. Social relationships are often varied and unique.

What is important is having a balance between what is internally important to a person and what is created in genuine relationships.

Friendships contribute to well-being by:

  1. Creating a sense of connection, community, and purpose.
  2. Provides support in times of stress, strain and the day-to-day demands of raising a family.
  3. Provides opportunity to give support and help friends when they need support.
  4. Creates shared experiences, bonding, and enjoyment.
  5. Decreasing loneliness through companionship and connection.
  6. Helps to reduce stress and increase happiness.

Friendships are an important component to mothering. I hope after reading this post, you feel encouraged to reach out to a friend and connect. Mothering can be a lonely journey at times, and when we make time for our friends, we cultivate support, companionship, and let’s be honest, have fun and get in some great laughs.

I am pretty certain after connecting and spending time with friends, you’ll find yourself saying, “We need to make sure we do this more often! I had so much fun, and I am so grateful to have you as my friend.”

© Copyright Dr. Claire Nicogossian 2017

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