This blog is about friendship. Holding a sense of belonging. Feeling supported. Being known. Having other women witness and cheer for our lives.
While many consider the subject of friendship to be fluffy, girly or simply warm-and-fuzzy; the research is actually showing that it is in fact one of the most significant factors to our health and happiness. Which is no small claim.
Friendship is a Significant Answer
Under the guiding belief that our friendships impact our health as much, or more, than the gym, whether we’re married, eating organic vegetables or reading any amount of self-help books, I can only hope that all of us women will invest equal amounts of time and energy into relational health and wellness.
“Low social connectedness compares to having the same health impact as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, to being an alcoholic, as more harmful than not exercising and twice as harmful as obesity!” – PLoS Medicine journal highlighting research from 2010
“In the quest for better health, many people turn to doctors, self-help books or herbal supplements. But they overlook a powerful weapon that could help them fight illness and depression, speed recovery, slow aging and prolong life: their friends.” — New York Times article, “What Are Friends For? A Longer Life.”
“One conclusion was blatantly clear from my happiness research: everyone from contemporary scientists to ancient philosophers agrees that having strong social bonds is probably the most meaningful contributor to happiness.” –The Happiness Project (NY Times Bestseller), by Gretchen Rubin
In a climate where worry, depression, stress, lack of purpose and fear are rampant, it intrigues me that one of the best remedies could be friendship.
Friendship is also a Significant Question
This blog honors friendship not only as a significant contribution to our lives but does so while recognizing that it’s easier said than done. Research shows that we replace half our friends every seven years now which means we are constantly replenishing our circle of friends for any number of reasons.
And so we’re faced with our friends changing with every move, with getting married/divorced, with having kids or watching them move out, with retirement or changing interests. And there need be no stigma to saying “I need more friends.” (We’re talking friends, not just more people you’re friendly with. Big difference!) We don’t give up on finding our one romantic interest if three dates didn’t pan out or believe that if one month at the gym doesn’t transform us that it must not be worth our time. So, give the same grace to your journey in developing friends. It doesn’t happen overnight, but the result will impact your life. Literally.
This blog is about the research, the how-to’s, the inspiration and the ideas for how you can improve your life by giving attention to your circle of friends. And I welcome you to the conversation– sign up to receive new postings (1-2 a week) and join in contributing comments!