“To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.” – Dr. Seuss
Friends are chosen family, and therefore incredibly valued in each of our lives. Friends are the sisters and brothers we never had, and are by our side in any given situation. Strong friendships are a critical aspect of most people’s emotional well-being.
Research indicates that close friendships are associated with greater happiness, self-esteem, and sense of purpose. These bonds are even associated with physical outcomes, such as lower blood pressure and a longer lifespan. The beautiful thing about friendship is friends are friends because they want to be, that they choose each other.
Throughout life, from grade school to the retirement home, friendship continues to confer health benefits, both mental and physical. But as life accelerates, people’s priorities and responsibilities shift, and friendships are affected, for better, or often, sadly, for worse.
In other words, friendship is wonderful, and much ink has been spilled in citing the virtues of having friends. That’s not to say friendship is easy, though. It demands time and effort, and it requires that people put someone other than themselves first sometimes.
But in exchange for that work, a friend can provide an immense amount of support and comfort in good times and in bad.