The Easiest Way To Live A Longer, Healthier Life
Life was much simpler as a child. You didn’t set the rules, there were limited obligations and all of your days seemed longer. Making friends was easy-peasy, too.
You befriended anyone who laughed like you, had the same color pants, liked the same sport as you, or lived across the street. Friendships were fun. But they were never work. As an adult, friendships are different. Maintaining and creating new friendships is hard work. Is it worth it, though? I believe it is.
Numerous studies tell us that people lead longer lives when they spend more time surrounded by friends. Friendships make us happy, and happiness leads to a healthier state of mind and physical body. Consider this, when you’re happy you want to be active, you take care of our body and you seek sunlight as well as myriad opportunities to be healthy. Friendships remind us that there are reasons to be happy and they drive us to be happier.
Sadly, if you’re not happy, then you might be lonely, and due to factors such as social media, entrepreneurship and lower marriage rates, loneliness has increased over the past 30 years.
Now that you know this, you’re one step ahead of the game. You absolutely need women in your life to support you and help you grow. I know what you’re saying right now, “But Melissa, I’m so busy, I don’t even have time for myself.” Well, I hate to break it to you, but you do have time. You just have to adjust your priorities.
But with time your relationships have changed and evolved.
Are you still friends with the same people from elementary school or high school? College? Together, you’ve gone through similar experiences, but as you age and your life evolves, you begin to follow different paths.
Some of you will go to college after high school, while others will go 20 years later, or not at all.
Some of you will get married, while others “play the field.”
Some of you will begin to branch off and have families, while others may never want kids.
Some of you will move away, while others will stay close to home.
In order to be healthy and happy, you will need to develop new relationships with other women who are experiencing the same feelings and going through the same transitions that you are going through. Friendship is the key to living a happy life.
And yes, this is where time will get the best of you. Your whole day is spent working and running around doing errands. You’d love nothing else but to go home and close the door behind you. You’ll think to yourself “Should I have gone to that party at Joanne’s?” but then you’ll whisper back to yourself, “Heck no, who has time for all that?” Home is easy, but after awhile, easy can become lonely.
You can’t go home and follow the same routine every night, no matter how comfortable and soothing it is. Sometimes, you need to let down your walls and get yourself out there into the land of the unknown.
So where do you find them?
Finding new friends is much like dating. It can be painful and heartbreaking, but the rewards are incredibly fulfilling. Are you ready to try? YES! So am I. Get out your pen and paper, and write down 10 things you would like to do with your new friend.
Are you seeking an active person?
A person to go to the movies with?
Now, go do all of those things and do them without judgment. Yes, this is key. You’re never going to meet anyone if you keep thinking what will they think.
Keep in mind, most friendships are built off one joint interest, but that doesn’t mean that everything else about your new friend needs to be the same as you. Be diverse. Most of my best friendships have been with people who were different than me, as they taught me SO MUCH.
If this list doesn’t work for you, look online. Some see it as an only connection, but I believe it can bridge connections. Instead of staying home and only using your phone, use your phone to meet people and build relationships offline.
But if connecting with other women online is scary for you, then you have to put yourself in situations where you’ll meet people face to face. In order for a friendship to develop, you need to be face-to-face enjoying, creating, or equally sharing a disdain for something together (think about those friends from college and your combined hatred for research).
So, get out there. Open up and be vulnerable. Foster old friendships and develop new ones like your life depends on it, because guess what, it does. It really, really does.
Melissa has dedicated the last 8 years to coaching and counseling people on how to overcome adversity. She is on a mission to empower women all over the world to let go of all of the shit that is holding them back and motivate them to live their dreams. She have a Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California and is a frequent speaker on women’s wellness. Melissa resides in sunny San Diego with her best friend and precious dog, Daisy. Follow Melissa on Facebook and Instagram.