International Friendship Day 2022: Many benefits of friendship for mental health
International Friendship Day 2022: From improving late-life satisfaction to keeping stress and depression at bay, here are the benefits of friendship and how it impacts the mental health. Know from experts here.
International Friendship Day 2022: Friendship is a cherished relationship. It helps in improving lifestyle, causing positive changes in the life. It also helps in bringing happiness and is built out of mutual respect and love. A true friendship can change the whole course of a person’s life. It is a kind of relationship that goes beyond all kinds of barriers and is built on acceptance, affection and respect. Speaking to HT Lifestyle, Dr Jitender Jakhar, Consultant Psychiatrist, Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj said, “Best relationship for human being is the one, which is unconditional, reliable and have mutual respect and understanding for each other. It can be between parents-kids, among couple, teacher and student, sibling, senior-junior, but the best relationship which a human being can derive out of their social environment is friendship. Presence of a healthy friendship can enrich your life with happiness and well-being and buffers you against the adversity.”
Friendship also impacts the mental health in a lot of ways. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Syed Zafar Sultan Rizvi, Assistant Professor, Deptt. Of Psychology, SLA, Noida International Institute of Medical Sciences, Noida International University noted down the effects of friendship on a person’s mental health:
Social support system: Friendship is born out of a person’s social environment. It also acts as a social support system for the person and helps him to navigate through life.
Stress: When close friendship increases, it also facilitates the self –esteem and psychosocial adjustment, and significantly decreases the level of stress, anxiety and depression. Even for younger adults, those have friendships in preadolescence period are more likely to develop higher level of enjoyment, intimacy, emotional support, sensitivity, loyalty mutual affection and higher quality of life.
Victimisation: Friendship also reduce the chance of being victimised by peers. If victimisation occurs, it buffers the negative effect. Children who are victimised by peers often express hostility, aggression, or withdrawal from social interactions.
Cognitive resources: Reciprocal friendships can supply cognitive and affective resources, foster a sense of well-being, socialise both parties, facilitate mastery of age-related tasks, and provide developmental advantages that can extend into old age but without much emphasis on research basis.
Higher late-life satisfaction: “Studies report that older adults who are having a good support network and an active social life, are associated with higher late-life satisfaction. This healing power of friendship grows linearly as you age together through thick and thin of your life,” said Dr Jitender Jakhar.