Valentine's Day is more than just another Hallmark holiday. It is a day for showing our love and appreciation not only for our romantic partners, but all those we care about, including our friends. Reaching out to friends on this special day lets them know you’re thinking of them. It also expresses the gratitude you have for them being in your life.
Friendships can be detrimental, especially during times of need. They are the shoulder we rest our heads and cry on; they are the sages who impart us with astute advice. They help us stay on the straightened path and become our sounding boards during times of contemplation. There are also many health benefits of having close friends, so it’s true to say, that friendships are good for our overall well being.
Friendships actually heighten our moods. Studies have proven that when females bond, the hormone, oxytocin is released in the brain. This is known as the “feel good hormone.” It reduces stress, helps fight depression and creates an overall better disposition. During a study at UCLA, Dr. Laura Cousino Klein discovered that friendships also lower our blood pressure and cholesterol. “There’s no doubt that friends are helping us live longer,” Dr. Klein stated.
Friendships are good for our mental health as well. Our friends not only serve as therapists and confidants, they help boost our feelings of self worth and increase our sense of purpose. They can aid in coping with life changing traumas such as divorce, or the death of a loved one. Friendships can also decrease the risk of dementia since engaging with others helps to keep the brain fit.
As our busy lives progress and we get caught up in the day to day, sometimes we temporarily lose contact, even with those closest to us. Valentine’s Day is a wonderful day to reach out to our friends. Send a card or plan a phone call instead of typing out a text. Let all those who are good for your health, know you how much you love and appreciate them.