Tag Archives: friendship

Choose your friends wisely – your wellness depends on it

14 Oct
Cover of "Connected: The Surprising Power...

Cover via Amazon

The people you’re spending time with will absolutely have an impact on your wellness.  If you’re spending a lot of time with people who are making poor lifestyle choices, it will have some influence on you.  If you’re anything like me, you often think “I really should get more exercise” or “I should stop watching so much TV” or – insert your own example here.

If you want to be more active and watch less TV, hang around with people who are doing this.  It seems like a pretty obvious solution, but sometimes we can get into a rut.  Call a neighbor and see if they want to go for a walk.  If you have a friend who tends to be the active type, give them a call, plan to get together.  Sometimes even just hearing them talk about thier life and all its activities will be enough to inspire you.  Maybe you can make plans to join them on one of their next adventures.

What do you do if you don’t really have any active friends?    Consider joining a class or a team.  It’s a great way to get active and make new friends at the same time.

Friends affect other aspects of our lives as well.  How we eat is another good example.  If your friends like to focus a large amount of thier social time on going out to eat, it can be a challenge to keep your food choices and portions in the healthy range.

If your friends are smokers, you are more likely to become a smoker – or be subjected to second hand smoke.

Dr. Christakis and Dr. Fowler have written a book all about the effects of our social network and how it affects the person we are.

Dr. Christakis and Dr. Fowler discovered that if your friend’s friend’s friend starts gaining weight or takes up smoking, you’re more likely to do the same.
You might be thinking – “I’m an adult and I make up my own mind about things.”  While that may be true, the fact remains that our thoughts and feelings about things are influenced by the things and people we see all around us.  By Surrounding yourself with positive people, you are improving the quality of the influence.  Better influence = better decisions.

Friendship is a huge part of living well

6 Apr

The other day, as I was looking through some of my Grandmother’s old photos and papers, I came across a newspaper clipping that made me smile, but it also made me sad.  The clipping was a picture of my Grandma and two of her best friends with a caption that read “the birthday gals celebrate 20 years!”  Grandma and her friends had been celebrating their birthdays together faithfully for the past 20 years.  Wow, that’s pretty impressive.  The editor of the local paper must have thought so too.  To think that a group of ladies could sustain a bond of friendship that stood the test of time really made me think. (And I happen to know the tradition continued for another 20 years after that newspaper article was written!)Image  It made me think about myself and my own friends.  Sure, I have friends that I have stayed in touch with for more than 25 years, but I have to admit that I have not put in the amount of time and effort that my Grandma did.  Three or four phone calls a year is hardly what I would consider a valiant effort.  When I think back about my Grandma and her friends, I realize that even as a young child, I knew her friends by name and thought of them and their families as friends.  Obviously, if I felt that familiar with her friends, my Grandma was doing considerably more than just a seasonal phone call.  I remember times when a friend was under the weather and Grandma would whip up some homemade recipe and drive right over to deliver it.  If Grandma wanted to go out to see a play, she would call to invite the friends.  If she was in the neighbourhood, Grandma would stop in, just to say hello.  While thinking of all the little things my Grandma and her friends would do with and for each other, I couldn’t help but feel woefully inadequate.  But wait a minute, Grandma was a house wife, while I work…full time.  Ok, so I do have to cut myself a little bit of slack considering I have much less available time, but is that really an excuse?  After some thought, I decided that many a modern woman would say that working full time is definitely a legitimate reason to slack off a little on some of these things.  In fact many women I have spoken to about this say that often after working all day, they really just want to flop down on the couch, and they cross their fingers that the phone does not ring.  But, these same women also admitted that they did feel lonely, a lack of connection with friends.

Ok, so I have to be realistic and admit that I will not often have the time to whip up some delightful dish to deliver to a sick friend, but, these days most people have their freezers and cupboards full of all kinds of nearly instant foods anyway.  It is not the actual food that they need, but the acknowledgement of care and friendship.  So, a flower delivery, or even just a thoughtful handwritten card might be just what she needs to know she has a friend who is thinking about her.  It would be well worth the time and effort.

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