Friendships lead to wellbeing
Friendships are formed automatically by all but should we think more about how important and how beneficial these are ?
In earlier times, our elders used to talk about and practice satsangs (company of good people) and joint prayer interspersed with bhajans or devotional songs. This certainly made them move towards positive energy and generate positive vibes. It is not that they did not have problems or issues to deal with. What it did mean however is that they dealt with it jointly with their well wishers. Now, real well wishers are vanishing everywhere. This shall grow only when we spend time and energy on them. Everywhere it is sharing that adds value to our lives and genuine relationships that matter. So, other than basic maths and english, we all need to know the tenets of friendship that I would like to share with you. We must know this is usually a two way street. We get only what we give. So, to get good friends, we need to be good friends ourselves.
A true friend is there for you always, not just when it’s convenient. It is as important to choose good friends as it is to choose a healthy diet and fitness routing. This is something we usually learn in the mode of trial and error but it would be better if we understand it by knowing its principles and tenets.
I remember many underprivileged people in my life being truly genuine in all their relationships. My earlier househelp used to reach out to her friends by sharing her food and even help them by taking on their chores though she could not help them monetarily. Seeing her reach out to others in this manner made me chip in by helping them in whatever way I could. In fact, her gesture make me form more bonds and genuine relationships in my circles too to make sure I worked on real wealth and not just fake, material wealth.
Friendships promote a sense of belonging
Simply feeling included and not feeling a part of no group make us feel better about life in general.
I remember going to my friend's house whenever I was anxious and she used to aways motivate me by complimenting me in all areas.Sometimes this was exagerrated but her intent was to boost my morale which is what made me seek her support as a motivator.
Improves cognitive health
When I travelled abroad, I realised that we in India are blessed to have a social network wherever we may be. It is said that having a large social network offers a protective effect over cognition and reduces the risk of dementia. I remember my late grandmother ensuring she exchanged views and indulged in harmless gossip saying this is something that made her feel alive and connected with the world. She lived a complete life till her nineties so this certainly seemed to have worked for her.
Coping with grief
When my aunt, who is a teacher, lost her pet dog of many years in a tragic accident, all the teachers of her school came to her house with CDs of her favourite songs to ensure she felt better and accepted her loss.
Friendships help a lot in combating stress. Just a cup of tea with a friend can and does make us feel so much better which is why I do think that all colleges and work spaces should include an area where people can bond. Having the tea, snack or meal all alone is not the same as it lacks the human touch.
Happiness quotient increases
Nothing makes us happier than sharing old memories with our friends. Overall when we feel better, we are healthier too. So, I definitely feel friendship is the best wellness pill of all and the more we take it, the better we feel.
Overall, though people talk often of love and fresh air being necessary for all, I would say, friendship and a human touch is what we all always need to lead a complete, holistic life. Hence, become a good friend to get more friends and remain holistically healthy. To be a good friend, we need to do the same things we would like our friends to do for us, that is share and care. This is not impossible but very much possible as the entire process is very much in our control. Think of others and others will think of you, this is the design of the universe to keep us holistically healthy through the mantra of friendship. For, friendship is as important for mental and spiritual health as diet and exercise is for physical health. As we are human beings with all of this in us, we need to work on all these aspects togther to lead a holistic, wholesome and complete life.
By Jamuna Rangachari