Forming meaningful friendships is incredibly important for our social and mental health. They provide us with a means to communicate our feelings, give emotional support, and generally contribute to our happiness. But, as adults, in our increasingly busy post-COVID 19 lives, it can be a little tricky to keep in touch with friends and meet new people.
Good friendships make life more enjoyable, and establishing a healthy social life can lead to an array of benefits for our wellbeing. These can include a better ability to recover from serious illnesses, and according to many international research papers, having strong friendships can help us live longer! Researchers in the renowned journal PLoS Medicine even go so far as to say that not having enough friendships has a mortality risk comparable to that of smoking 15 cigarettes a day! So, believe us when we say that friendships can improve our mental health, physical health, and overall life satisfaction just as much as our social health.
But, if making friends seemed so much easier when we were younger, how do we make new ones as adults? That’s why we’re here to give you three handy tips for forging lasting friendships as adults!
1. Try to Be Open to New People and Experiences
One of the reasons it might be difficult to meet new people as we get older is that we can get increasingly relaxed in our comfort zones and can be hesitant to try new things. So, a great way to find new friendships and experiences is by looking outward. This could involve interacting with our coworkers in other daily situations, like going for lunch, or meeting them in our downtime for social activities like going to the cinema. It could also involve spending more time doing things we wouldn’t normally do. Certain sports or leisure activities like swimming or gaming can be a great start. Joining clubs is also a great way to get out of our bubbles and make new friends! It’s all about taking little steps out of our social ruts. We never know what’s just around the corner!
2. Consider Your Current Social Network
Another great way to expand our social networks is by looking at the friends we already have. It can be daunting to look outward and try to meet new people, but if we look at the people who are already part of our lives, we may find that they have other social networks that we could join. If we have a friend who often spends time with their work colleagues, there’s nothing wrong with asking to tag along and get to know some of those people yourself! If your friend likes another group of people, you’ll likely get on with them too!
3. Communicate Effectively
Sometimes the barrier that stops us from making and maintaining friendships is our ability to communicate. We can practice active listening and really learn about the people around us, and we can also try to be more open and honest with the people already in our lives. This leads back to examining our current networks. If we feel like we don’t have many friends, the perfect thing to do is to tell our current friends about this, and we may just find ourselves invited to more social occasions and expand our network in the process!
Making friendships that last and have a positive impact on our lives can be a tricky thing, but being honest about our feelings and needs can help us find our genuine “ride or die” mates!
Remember: Holistic wellness starts at home! Follow Holi’s guide to creating meaningful relationships today, and explore the rewards of cultivating deep connections with your loved ones.