Our friends are some of the most important people in our lives – there to share the highs and the lows, commiserate with us and celebrate with us. In fact, many people think of their friends as a second family – and one that they chose themselves. We’ve always known that these friendships are incredibly important for our souls and our mental wellbeing, and acts as a form of self-care, but science has also proven a link between physical health and having a good support network of people who just ‘get us’. Body mass index, blood pressure and other key health indicators have all been shown to be more positive among people who maintain a good friendship group, so there’s more reason than ever to put the effort into connecting with people. There are more ways that friends can be good for us too – so here’s how to make hanging out great for your health…
Stave Off Anxiety
More of us than ever now admit to experiencing some form of struggle with our mental health, and the anxiety epidemic has become a problem among modern generations. Friendship can really help with this. Being able to be open and honest about any down days with someone close to you can be a lifeline. Friends can help to share and solve a problem, and will often have their own suggestions for balancing mental health that they can support with. You could even plan to do some mental wellness activities together – why not book onto a yoga class, practise some controlled breathing with your pals or take a trip to a highly rated Sydney CBD cafe to spend some nice time together? It is also important that you provide your friends with contacts for additional support (e.g. psychologists, phone helplines).
Get In Some Exercise Together
Exercise is massively beneficial for our brains and our bodies, but sometimes getting motivated can be the problem. This becomes a whole lot easier when you decide to exercise with your friends. Whether it’s motivating each other to go for a run in the evenings while you catch up on each others news, texting links to home workout routines on YouTube that you know your friend would enjoy, or encouraging each other to go to a gym class together, the pack mentality can help you out of days when exercise feels tougher. It can also be a great way to broaden your friendship network – joining in with a team sport is a sure fire way to forge new friendships.
Learn A New Skill
Learning how to do new stuff has a really positive effect on us mentally and physically, and it can be fun to explore something new with someone you like and trust by your side. Perhaps you could sign up for a vegan cookery course together and get lean while discovering delicious new recipes to eat together. You may want to learn a practical skill like upcycling furniture or learning to craft. And if these things go really well, you could find yourself looking at a new business opportunity. Either way, learning a new skill together is a great way to cement a friendship and safeguard your health together.