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Having friends can improve mental health

The rate of suicide in America due to self-isolation skyrocketed after the COVID 19 outbreak at the beginning of 2020. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death worldwide in all age groups.  Not only did economic stress lead to anxiety, but social distancing had a tremendous impact on people who were without friends and family. 

Socializing is important for mental abilities because it allows people encouragement, cognitive thinking, happier thoughts and connection.

People crave friendships because humans all need social interactions in their lives. Social interactions boost happiness, confidence and self-worth.  Studies say everyone needs a compliment now and then. Friends uplift one another and tell each other what they need to hear. When someone has a bad day, they need to vent to someone. 

Having a friend reduces stress in many ways.  For example, motivation from a friend allows a person to forget about their problems in life and feel as if they can “conquer the world.” A person who is motivated by the right people will feel unstoppable and can overcome adversity. Motivation can include bragging about the person in a public setting, texting a message saying they were being thought about, joining them for activities, making them laugh or smile and helping them out with their problems. Motivation can change a person’s outlook on stressful issues and create goals.

Having friends can also help with recovering from trauma or unexpected circumstances, such as losing a loved one, having an unexpected diagnosis, illness, divorce, PTSD or being seriously injured.  A friend can be a shoulder to lean on when in need of comfort. A friend should also try to be there every chance they can, either in person or virtually, to offer support.  A friend who is going through a difficult time should know they are being thought about, so attempting something nice and unexpected could lighten the person’s mood.  A few examples could be bringing or cooking a meal, sending a text or calling, inviting them to go out for a night or two, and talking and embracing.

Having a friend or two could help through personal development.  Friendships can be challenging at times, but it helps with problem solving and interactions.  During disagreements, friends learn about different opinions and how to negotiate.

Socializing is very important for the mental health of human functioning because it helps with survival.  Friendships are made to help one another, comfort one another, and rely on each other.  A person will have less isolation and more sense of belonging.

 Humans all need to feel as if they belong instead of feeling isolated.  A friendship can help more than people realize regarding mental issues.  The effect of a friendship transforms a person mentally to feel more confident, less stressed and anxious and gain more social skills.  Friendships are what everyone needs during these hard times in their lives, and the effect is greater than anyone can imagine.

by Mikayla Rainey

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