Your best friend is awesome. It’s science. Our friendships have the ability to help us reach our goals. Here, we explore all of the reasons why our pals are irreplaceable.
At Covey, we know the value and importance of friendship. After all, we were founded by a dynamic duo who have been besties for decades. Our friends become our family, and they are through all of life’s little and significant experiences. From celebrating a new job promotion and standing by our side on our wedding day to listening to an hour-long vent about our latest drama, without friends, where would we be?
In addition to being our greatest cheerleaders and confidants, friends can also help us stick to our commitments and meet our goals. Maybe you’re attempting to cut down your 10-step beauty routine. Or, you’re finally running a marathon. Perhaps you’re simply trying to cut out sugar for ten days. Whatever your aspiration, having the help of our beloved friends makes us happier and, ultimately, more successful.
And hey, it’s not just a fun thought — it’s science. In honor of National Best Friend Day, we share research-backed ways our friendships are the key to maintaining a routine and conquering whatever mountain is in front of us.
Friends boost our self-confidence.
When you need a pep talk before going into a job interview (or, ahem, a promising first date), who is first on your speed dial? Your bestie, of course. According to The Mayo Clinic, having solid and tight-knit friendships significantly impacts our sense of self and our overall wellbeing. By having a person to talk through life’s problems and remind you of the unique gifts that make you, you’ll see increased happiness, self-confidence, self-worth, and a stronger sense of belonging and purpose.
When we feel ready to conquer the world — or even just a Monday — we are more likely to maintain wellness habits and take strides toward our goals. So the next time your pal serves as a pseudo therapist during a rough patch? Thank him or her for helping you to take a deep breath and move forward with hope and conviction.
Friends keep us healthy.
Of all of the things in our life worth fighting for, our health is a top priority. Without being physical — and emotionally — fit, it’s an uphill battle to meet and goal, large or small. Our friends also play the role of accountability buddies, challenging us to make nutritious eating choices and make it to our workout classes. According to one study, people with strong relationships have half the risk of premature death from all causes — including diabetes, heart attack, strokes, and others. They also decrease our feelings of loneliness. In addition to being bad for our mental health, social isolation can also lead to substance abuse, cancer and high blood pressure.
Bottom line? The healthier — and happier! — we are, the more likely we are to lead a successful, fulfilling life. And our friends are one of the most significant contributors.
Friends help us make better decisions.
Sure, your friend might be responsible for the third glass of wine you had last night. But in the scheme of life, a healthy, supportive friendship will ensure we make smarter, more productive choices. As one study found, our closest friends keep us in check, and they give us a nudge when they see us falling off the bandwagon or making poor lifestyle choices. This same study also concluded people are far more likely to set and maintain goals if they have a best friend to keep them on the right track.
(We’re a little biased, but skin health is a tremendous lifelong commitment to make! To celebrate National Best Friend Day, buy your bestie the Covey three-step routine and remind each other daily to follow through with the cleanser, vitamin C serum and moisturizer tango.)
Friends help lower our stress levels.
There’s no way around it: life is stressful sometimes. And as we’ve learned over the past year through the pandemic, it can also be unpredictable, scary and chaotic. Having periods of stress is normal and expected, but chronic anxiety can wear and tear on our bodies and lead to serious health issues. However, when we spend time with our friends, we are calmer, able to process our stressors and heal from them. In fact, “social connection can help relieve levels of stress, which can harm the heart’s arteries, gut function, insulin regulation and our immune system,” according to Harvard Medical School.
In short? Our pals mend our hearts. What’s better than that?
Friends push us to succeed — and celebrate us.
While growing up and cultivating your first friendships, your parents probably warned you that you are the company you keep. It turns out they were right. As humans, we innately take on the characteristics of those around us. So, if you’re besties with someone who inspires you, who motives you to be braver, and who sticks to their own goals, you’re likely to follow their lead.
This National Best Friend Day, hug your friends — in person or socially distanced — and express your gratitude. As we’ve learned, they are irreplaceable.