When health experts take a look at the indices of health, one aspect stands out among the others; support groups, also known as friends. Some psychologists have a name for this. They call it The Buffer Theory, suggesting that good friends tend to buffer us from the stress of life. They cushion the blow of sudden change, and catch us when we fall. (this is the whole purpose of groups like AA, which are very successful). Today friendships have become more virtual and less actual. People collect friends like stamps or coins. As a whole we tend to spend more time on line and less time with face-to-face contact. Moreover, we may have many acquaintances yet fewer and fewer close friends. Experts agree, that when all is said and done, you can really only have a few close friends. It is this group that needs the greatest attention; nurturing these relationships. Sociologists fear that great Internet use fosters a greater sense of loneliness, which becomes very stressful.Solid friendships help promote a sense of belonging which by any other name means love. The bottom line is that love (compassion) in the form of quality friendships is the greatest healing agent.
• Stress Tip For The Day:
How strong in your support group of friends? How often do you really see your friends? How often do you spend quality time with them? Today make a pledge to yourself to strengthen the bonds of close friendships in your life by inviting a good friend to lunch or tea, perhaps a movie or even a walk. Tell them how much you appreciate them in your life. Take time to see what’s really going on in their lives. Lend emotional support for them if needed, and ask for the same if you need it. Remember to take time to unplug from the virtual world and spend more time in the actual world. Tell your friends how much they mean to you. Tell them you love them. Most people never hear this enough.
• Links/Books/Movies Worth Noting:
Here is a link from Psychology Today:
Here is a link on this very subject from the Ladies Home Journal
• Quotes for the Day:
“Think where man’s glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends.” — William Butter Yeats
• Photo of the Day:
A few weeks ago, I had some friends over for a potluck and house concert (some traditional Irish music). It was loads of fun. Here are some of my good friends, musicians Adam, John and Emily. Thanks everyone for a great evening of music, food and quality friendships. And long live gluten-free lasagna! Enjoy!
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 14 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart, A Beautiful World and Managing Stress (7E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.