Here are 5 emotionally healthy reasons to find 5 emotionally healthy friends.
5 Emotionally Healthy Reasons to Find 5 Emotionally Healthy Friends
Friendships are necessary for human health and wellbeing. If you want to truly want to live the “good life”, according to Aristotle, you need to have good friends.
Friendship is usually not too difficult for extraverts, but even introverts need good friends…and by “good friends”, I mean “emotionally healthy friends”.
Here are 5 emotionally healthy reasons to find 5 emotionally healthy friends:
Reason #1: You become like the 5 people you hang around with most
Whether the people you are engaged with are online or IRL, the 5 people you are with most frequently are the people who will most influence your thoughts, decisions, beliefs and behaviors.
A great quote from Colin Powell says it well:
“Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights.”
The Bible says in Proverbs 13:20 says the “He who walks with wise men shall be wise…”. (Tillman version)
Research shows this. If you have friends who eat healthily, you are more likely to eat healthily. You’ve noticed this, I’m sure. When people get new friends, they change. They are subconsciously or consciously influenced by them to become like them. (You are also influencing your friends, too.)
Reason #2: Emotionally healthy friendships are good for your brain
Ever had one of those moments with a friend where you both have the same thought? Or maybe you both worked on figuring out a tough problem, then you came to a mutual resolution (an “aha” moment)? Or you listened deeply to one another and each of you felt heard?
At those moments, you both did some rewiring of your brains…mutual rewiring. This increases both your brains’ neuroplasticity (your resilience and neural health).
Healthy friendships help train our brains for empathy and prosocial skills…if we have emotionally healthy friendships. The opposite can also be true: emotionally unhealthy friends stimulate us instinctively toward their unhealthy behaviors. This is because our brains have “mirror neurons” that instinctively imitate the things we see other people do.
Healthy friends contribute to healthy brains.
Reason #3: Emotionally healthy friendships help you be successful
Research shows that people who have a best friend at work are 7 times more likely to feel engaged with their job.
Emotionally healthy friends will encourage you to achieve your goals. Another great quote from Colin Powell:
“Friends that don’t help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you.”
Reason #4: Close friendships may help reduce depression levels over time and help you build self-worth
Having good friends may help to reduce depression and anxiety levels over time. One recent study found that adolescents that have close friends as teens, had lower levels of depression and anxiety when they reached age 25. Teens with close friends also tend to have better self-worth as adults.
Adults do feel better with friends, too. If you didn’t have many friends as a teen, now is the time to get started.
Reason #6: Good role models believe in good friendship
We know that some of the wisest people in history believed in good friendship. Here are just 2 of them:
In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. The young they keep out of mischief; to the old they are a comfort and aid in their weakness, and those in the prime of life they incite to noble deeds.
Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.
What is emotionally healthy friendship?
Does emotionally healthy friendship mean that none of your friends can experience depression, anxiety or other struggles? No! (That’s not even possible. Everyone experiences depression or anxiety sometimes.)
Emotionally healthy friends are friends that:
- Have goodwill towards you. (They wish you well-being. They want the best for you.)
- Celebrate when you have a success.
- Call you out on your garbage…but are not critical or belittling.
- Are mutual (able to invest support as well as receive support from a relationship).
- Don’t hog your attention.
Where do you find emotionally healthy friends?
- Your significant other can count as one.
- Family counts (but not as all 5 of your friends).
- You can find friends at work or in various organizations.
- You can find friends in the digital world, too.
Best wishes finding some great friends!