"There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship."
Friends typically exist on a scale. We have our best and closest friends. We have our oldest friends and our work friends. Some of us even have those friends we may have outgrown but still share a connection. Friends are those people we turn to when we are in a jam and could use some advice, or maybe just in need of a good laugh. Friends are the family we choose. Our circle of friends also provides many health benefits like stronger immunity and less stress. Healthy friendships also aid in strengthening coping abilities and resilience.
As if there weren't already good enough reasons to reach out more often to our friends, the science tells us how beneficial strong friendships can be while we navigate our way through life. It's comforting knowing I have others I can lean on when I need it the most. My closest friends have helped me get through some of the darkest times in my life. I also used to be more private about who I would share my thoughts with. My friends, perhaps without even knowing it, helped give me the courage to share my innermost thoughts through music and this blog.
More recently, I have been working with a couple friends to help hold me accountable for personal and professional goals I have set for myself. I realized how much I don't like letting my friends down, while I had gotten too comfortable letting myself down. I felt like I was giving myself permission to give up on certain goals. I knew that by having the right friends to help me stick to my goals, I am less likely to abandon what I set out to do. Doing this with friends makes it more fun too. I am fortunate enough to have friends who know how to keep me on task without coming off like a drill sergeant. It works well for me.
The benefits of friendships are endless. Certain friendships may cater to specific needs. Some friends may provide better emotional support while others can provide us with necessary distractions or outlets to help manage our struggles. What are some ways you benefit from your friendships? How else might you benefit more from your friendships where the rewards are felt by everyone? Like Dionne Warwick sang, "Knowing you can always count on me, for sure. That's what friends are for."