It’s National Friendship Day on Tuesday 30th July, so I thought I’d take a moment to chat about what my friends mean to me…
I love hanging out with my friends – I’m not really one for hiding myself away and much prefer a manic weekend packed with meet ups and dinners with the people who make me laugh and I’ve now found out why! It turns out that having a social network of valuable and rewarding relationships does far more than just make us smile.
The average social circle consists of 4.3 best friends, 7.2 good friends and 20.4 acquaintances. The 4.3 often give us the most extreme support. Theses are the ones that would lend us money if we were in financial difficulty, help us through illness or bereavement and listen to our troubles whenever we need them too. This acts as a safety net, enabling us to venture out into the world confidently and bravely in the knowledge that someone is there to catch us if we fall.
The 7.2 are our secondary circle. They help us figure stuff out feed us with knowledge and show us different ways and paths that enrich our lives
“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” Anais Nin
20.4 is our wider community. The people we say hi to in the street or will chat in the pub with if they happen to be there, the parents of our children’s friends and the professionals that we bond with over a common interest.
The face to face interactions that we have on a daily basis release a wealth of lifegiving chemicals that not only help boost our immunity but maintain our emotional stability. For example; when we interact with someone our body starts to produce oxytocin this limits cortisol production reducing levels of stress. We also release of dopamine a natural pain killer and high.
Not only do our friendships keep us happy and healthy there is now a lot of evidence to say that it actually extends our life expectancy. People living in close supportive communities’ way out live people who limit human interactions. The two highest predictors of a longer life expectancy is social integration and close relationships.
This is also said to be a possible explanation why women out live men, because the bonds that they have with each other produce more of these chemical reactions and keep them healthy.
So in essence keep smiling at people, high-fiving your friends and find time to spend with that inner circle whenever you can! Why not show your friends you care with a unique bit of Deja Ooh? Surprise them with a zingy fabric covered plant pot or one of our limited edition mirrors!
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