There is nothing like an important event in your life to shed light on the value of true friendships.
And with the launch of Side Effects this past week, I've spent a good deal of time reflecting on just that.
Friendships are so much more than the connections we make. They sustain us through rough patches. They support us through good times and bad. They bring joy and laughter.
Friendships usually begin with common interests, values and/or beliefs. They grow stronger when we share our deeper layers. And they thrive when there is a mutual agreement about what it means to be a true friend.
The measure of a true friend is not what they say, but what they do. The show of support I have seen this past week has reminded me that I have some amazing people in my life.
Clinical studies have proven many health benefits to having fulfilling friendships - increased longevity, decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, improved immune systems, improved recovery time during illness and increased resilience against stress. In other words, friends help keep us healthy.
Social support is a key element in sustaining a sense of well being. Spending time with friends can be a form of self care.
I hope your life is filled with valuable, loving friends.