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There have been numerous studies over the years on how maintaining close friendships leads to happiness and longevity in your life. It has also been shown to boost your immune system and cut the risk of depression. I was raised in an environment where my mother had an amazing group of friends. She cultivated her friendships and these friends became her source of strength and companionship when she needed it most. She had her gossip friends. She had her spiritual friends. She had her life-long friends and her friends that she saw every now and then. For me personally, when a long stretch of time goes in between seeing my girlfriends, I start to feel down and alone. Friendships absolutely add to the joy in your life and the overrall feeling of happiness. I am blown away by the friends I have created through social media. Even though some of these friends I have never met in person, I feel extremely close and connected to them. They are an entirely separate group of people who I lean on for support and friendship. Remember that it is ok to create groups of people who mean different things to you at different periods of your life. If you are feeling alone in your life, take some time this week to reach out to new and old friends alike. Make the effort and reap the rewards. I guarantee something as simple as nurturing a friendship will go a long way in your happiness and overall joy factor.
Make the time
Technology is great at times. You can email your friends. You can connect on facebook and twitter. You can text them a message. However, nothing is as meaningful as the in-person get together. Make the time to get together with your friends. Meet for lunch. Go watch a movie. Make this effort and reap the emotional rewards.
Make the effort
Make the effort to make your friends feel special and loved. If you read an article that reminds you of your friend, let them know. If you happen upon a product or gift at a store that makes you think of a friend, purchase it and send it to them as a surprise. Or, simply shoot an email or send a note in the mail letting them know you are thinking of them with a smile.
Take the first step
Many times in life people stand on the side lines and wait for others to make the first move. Because of the role models I had growing up, I have never been one to wait around. I guess I am a bit antsy that way:) If I meet someone who is warm, kind and genuine, I make a point of reconnecting. I will shoot an email or invite them to coffee. Many of my best friendships were created this way. Take charge of your life and the people you surround yourself by.
Leslie Gail is a Life Coach, Author and Mom of two. She lives in Denver with her family. Find out more about her here.