Good friendships are vitally important for your health and wellbeing. When you think about your closest friendships, they may be with people you have known since childhood, or they could be with someone you met more recently. Regardless of how long you have known someone, the most important factor in any relationship is the level of support that you give each other. If you are looking for supportive, Christian friendships, then please visit St. John Baptist Church in Columbia this Sunday. We look forward to meeting you!

1. Ward Off Depression

One of the greatest causes of depression is loneliness. Feelings of isolation and loneliness have been shown to trigger anxiety and depression, which have negative impacts on your overall health. In fact, they can have the same negative effects on your longevity that smoking and obesity can. For these reasons, it is important to cultivate supportive friendships, which will in turn help prevent depression in your life.

2. Clear Perspectives

There are many situations that can cause us to have an emotional reaction, which prevents us from having a truly clear perspective. In times like these, a supportive friend can listen to you and provide the feedback that you need to evaluate whether your perception is accurate or colored by emotion. Friends can also give you valuable insight into major decisions that you are contemplating, or problems that you are facing. Whether you are trying to decide what to do about your job, your car, or another relationship, a supportive friend can provide the sounding board that you need to feel confident in your choice.

3. Shared Difficulties Are Easier to Handle

“Many hands make light work” comes from John Heywood, an English writer best known for his plays. While this statement was made in reference to physical work, it also applies to emotional difficulties that we face. Sharing your problems with a friend seems to make them feel lighter and less complicated. Even if your friend doesn’t have the perfect solution, the fact that they listened to you provided a valuable support. Everyone will face difficulties during their lifetime, but sharing these times with friends makes them easier.

4. Increased Feelings of Security

One of the best ways to protect yourself from stress is to increase your feelings of security. You can do this through fostering supportive friendships. The relationships you have with good friends naturally provide a sense of security that helps to battle stress when it enters your life. Friends can help you regain the perspective you need when a situation feels as if it is spiraling out of control. The pleasure that you get from being in the company of people that you care about and who also care about you can do wonders for your sense of security.

5. Joy

Laughter is frequently referred to as medicine because it actually is. Laughter is one of the reasons why endorphins are released in your brain, which make you feel happy and joyful. Participating in fun activities with friends helps to raise your spirit, and provide a distraction from the more serious aspects of life. Likewise, the give and take that exist in healthy friendships also promotes joy, because it is rewarding to do something for someone you like.

At St. John Baptist Church in Columbia, we understand how important it is to have close friends who share your values and support you in both good and hard times in life. We hope that you’ll join us this Sunday and discover some new friendships to help you feel more connected and supported. Please call to learn more about our services and community outreach opportunities.