Updated: Jan 14, 2019
In 1935 Congress proclaimed the first Sunday in August to be Friendship Day. Since that time, World Friendship Day is also celebrated on the first Sunday in August. The importance of friendship is evidenced by the fact that friendship is recognized around the world as being a very meaningful part of our lives. Friendships are just as important in India as they are here in America. Friendship crosses racial and ethnic divides, evidenced by the commonality in the way that we spend time with and appreciate our friends.
There are both positive and negative friendships. Both have a profound effect on our lives. It is important to learn to say good-bye to toxic friendships and hello to friendships that bring out the best in us. Positive friendships help us to maintain good mental health. When we have another person to share with, laugh with, cry with, be transparent with, and be our authentic selves with, it rids us of the baggage and negativity that can often lead to depression and high levels of stress. This, in turn, also leads to better physical health. We can also reap huge benefits in what we give to our friends. There is also a huge mental health benefit from giving these same beneficial qualities to our friends. It helps us to look outside of our own issues to focus on helping someone else.
You don’t have to take it from us…Check out the following important thoughts regarding friendship:
“I destroy my enemy when I make him my friend.” Abraham Lincoln
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, “What? You too? I thought I was the only one.” C.S. Lewis
“I get by with a little help from my friends.” John Lennon
“A friend is someone who is there for you when he had rather be anywhere else.” Len Wein
If you find that you are lacking friendship in your life, it might be time to think about the reasons why. Some people have difficulty making friends for different reasons. Perhaps you are shy or fearful that you will be rejected. Although counselors cannot ethically become your friends, we can help you build skills that will help you get along better with others and can also help you strategize ways to be more empathetic and relatable. Don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help if you need to, because friendship is an important part of living a happy, healthy life. We are here to help and we are ready when you are!