Who runs the world? Girls! Today is International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. But how can we celebrate the achievements of women today?
There are some fantastic female role models in the world today from activists and charity workers to entrepreneurs and politicians. But some of the most astounding women are those in our everyday lives. The friends we surround ourselves with are strong, successful, caring, independent women and not only are they great role models but they are also fantastic friends and supports for the ups and downs that life offers.
‘Friendship has a bigger impact on our psychological well-being than family relationships,’ says Rebecca G. Adams, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina. To celebrate these pillars of our life, we look at the top 8 reasons our friends are the most important thing in our lives.
1. Our true friends are there for us through good times and bad providing us with one of the biggest supports in our life, from a shoulder to cry on to laughing and having fun and forgetting all our worries. We can imagine hanging out with our best friends in a retirement home when we are 85 and laughing just as much!
2. Great friendship gets stronger over time – the more we invest in a friendship the more rewards we reap. Friendship is based on trust and faith as well as shared experiences and support.
3. Knowing we have a good support network is great for our emotional well-being and life success. A person with a strong support network is less likely to be depressed or anxious and is more likely to be successful at work and socially.
4. Having great friends makes you happy and happiness in catching. This means you and your group of friends will be happier and better still, you spread happiness!
5. When an awful life event occurs such as death or divorce, having a strong group of friends helps you cope with the grief better to help you move on with all the support.
6. Our friends habits rub off on us so if your best friend eats healthily, you are five times more likely to have a healthy diet yourself, which is great for both of you.
7. Research has show that people with a big group of friends live longer. In a 2006 University of California study of women with breast cancer they found that those without close friends were four times more likely to die than those with 10 friends or more. In the study, even having a spouse wasn’t associated with survival.
8. People with a good friend by their side can achieve so much more as they see obstacles as smaller than they actually are as shown by a study by The University of Virginia. When participants were asked to trek up a steep hill with a weighted backpack, those who stood with friends gave lower estimates of the steepness of the hill. And the longer the friends had known each other, the less steep the hill appeared.