Most of you are blessed with close friends that you have made over your lifetime. These friends are priceless, as they are your confidants and strongest allies. You become bonded to another person because you share similar things and even histories (college days, raising kids, job experiences, etc).
Through your relationships, you learn and grow together. Many times you may not know how you impact others, just by being in their lives. Your actions, comments, and presence affect people in ways you cannot even imagine. True friends remind you that you are lovable, unique, brilliant, creative, witty, wise, competent and beautiful, inside and out, but friendships do even more. They actually are the lifeline to better health and overall wellness, and the vaccine to inoculate you against major illnesses.
Scientific research shows that friendships and other social networking resources lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease and lessen the onslaught of depression. In addition, social connections decrease the likelihood of age-related dementia and other debilitating disorders, since interacting keeps you alert, mindful and accountable.
For women especially, friendships disrupt the ill effects of stress. It seems that women, under intense pressure, seek out the company of others because of a calming hormone that is released. Plus, women find that venting to their closest friends is an important psychosocial venue that comes naturally and easily to them.
There is much energy you put into your friendships and the connection is worth it. By showing your love and concern, your relationships become purposeful, memorable, therapeutic and transformative for you and the other person. You should be very thankful for those people who rekindle your inner spirit, help you as you grow older, are there during adversity and prosperity, and are committed to you long term. For it is these friendships that reduce your misery, double your joy and increase your lifespan, a precious gift you cannot find anywhere else.