The Benefits of Best Friends
There’s nothing quite like a good friend—someone who is honest, reliable, and makes us laugh. Friendships help us find meaning and purpose in life, see us through tough times, and keep us pushing forward. And as we age, friendships—whether old or new—become even more important.
Studies show that there are many psychological benefits to having close friends, including boosting self-confidence, decreasing stress and anxiety, helping cope with traumas such as the loss of a loved one or an illness, and finding ways to live a healthier lifestyle. Having human connection also helps ward off feelings of loneliness and depression, which become more common as we grow older.
While making friends later in life can sometimes be intimidating, you’re bound to start creating an inner circle if you’re out and about in the community. A few ways to meet new people with similar interests include:
Volunteering in the community
Joining a club, like a book club or bridge
Participating in gatherings at the local senior center
Attending events at a faith-based organization
Going to workout classes at a nearby gym, like yoga or water aerobics
Senior living communities and long-term care facilities also provide many opportunities to connect and build friendships. These communities have a strong sense of community and plenty of socialization opportunities for meeting, making, and engaging with new friends who live right down the hall.
Remember, good friendships are a two-way street. So be sure to nurture your relationships by checking in and attempting to make plans, even if it’s just to meet for a quick cup of coffee, or by sending a card. And thanks to today’s technology, there are many ways to stay connected to your friends.