June 8th is known as “Best Friends Day” so obviously that lead me to the perfect Coffee Chat. On Styled by Sequins, I’m sharing all about friendships, how they affect us and the real/fake friends!
How the brain’s chemistry affects the friends we choose…
They say friends are the family you choose, they make us laugh, cry, comfort us in heard times, and literally help us to survive. Those real relationships do affect your overall health and mental health. I listened a segment on the Today Show that inspired me to write about this topic on the blog. This interview was with Jenna Bush herself. So obviously I had to listen in. Here’s what I learned in regards to how the brain’s chemistry affects the friends you choose. (all studies were done by UCLA- side note UCLA brain institute is incredible!!)
1. Strong relationships help to extend your life by 50%
2. Studies show that strong friendships help to reduce stress, lower blood pressure/ cholesterol and strengthening your immune system.
3. Can you believe that social absence can carry the same risk as smoking 15 cigarettes a day!! (now that’s something to think about… pretty scary!)
4. When you check up on your friends to make sure they are feeling okay, doing well, and how you can help them will in the long run help you too! Plus, thats why God placed those people in our life- to give and to love.
5. Even when friendships are long distance,it’s important to stay in touch with them and call them! It’s easy to call so do it- it will affect you long term. When you create those strong relationships those friends will be loyal to you because they value the friendship.
6. Strong friendships are made because your brain’s wiring and processing of the outside world is the same. you’re more attracted to those who’s brain’s are wired the same. You can’t tell by looking at someone, rather by the time spent. Studies have been done by MRI scans to the brain to identify these facts to be true.
7. Doctors at UCLA studies two friends and how they processed different topics and outside world things. The two brains were very similar compared to those who were not friends. Based on those studies, they found that those who were in sync with each other were most compatible, which means those people were probably friends for years!
8. Friends make us work harder. Those who have BEST friends rather than some friends are 7 times more likely to feel engaged than “fake friends.”
Why friendships are good for your mental health…
Friendships DO affect our metal health in a positive way. This is a really good topic to address. Friendships help your self worth, self confidence, they help you avoid unhealthy things and those good bonds help you through trauma too. It’s so important to have good friends in your life no matter what age you are, starting out young to even old age. It makes a huge impact on your mental health. Friends are dynamic, full of laughter, unconditional. It’s the good friends that you can just pick up the phone anytime, any place and call them. When you do, you leave right where you left. Those are true and good friends that are GREAT for your overall well being. The friends who bash you for not showing up and put you down are the FAKE friends that become toxic. Leave those negative, mean, hurtful friends out of your life!! (talking from experience)
Back to the unconditional part of friendships- you have to be unconditional. Life gets busy and you might be in different stages in life. With that being said, no matter what if you are unconditional then you’ll go back to the same place you were when you last spoke or saw each other.
Friends are the people you want to feel safe with and you trust. Leave those friends behind that you can’t trust because all they WILL put you down. I like to think- if those friends make you happy inside and out then those are TRUE friends. With it all, those positive relationships will provide overall healthy mindset and life.
How long does it take to make a friend?
To start off, I found this quote to be interesting.. “Study after study has pointed out that having friends and people you can rely on is important for social support, health, longevity, wellbeing and all the things that we want to get out of life,” Hall told TODAY. “(Yet) people don’t prioritize friendships … a lot of times, our life becomes more focused on work and our immediate family.”
With that being said, how long does it take to make a REAL friend? You can just be friends for years, but sometimes it doesn’t have to be that way! Sometimes you just click. Based on friendship studies,
• It takes about 40-60 hours of time spent together in the first few weeks after meeting for people to form a casual friendship.
• To transition from a casual friend to friend takes about 80-100 hours of together time.
• Different stages of a person’s life may require more or less time investment.
• Hours spent together strongly predicted friendship closeness, but not if that time was spent at work or in school — places where people weren’t interacting by choice.
• The best way to spend time seemed to be just hanging out together, watching TV or playing video games together. People became closer by doing things they liked and enjoying each other’s company.
• Time spent talking didn’t make people particularly closer, but chatting was better when they were striving to make a connection — catching up with their friends, asking them how their day was going and joking around. Small talk, on the other hand, seemed to be the enemy of friendship — people who talked about mundane topics become less close over time.
Some tips to start building those friends over time…
1. Go out and mingle
2. Be real, be genuine and let your guards down (my struggles these days)
3. Make friends a priority
4. Pray about it
5. Try new relationships in different settings other than work or where you met.
Long story short, keep the real friends and ditch out those who are fake and toxic! To wrap it up… the secret to friendship is ACCEPTANCE, RESPECT, SUPPORTIVE (no matter what), and be GENUINE!!
I hope y’all take this Coffee Chat to heart because I know for myself it’s helped me realize my TRUE friends and my FAKE friends!! Below y’all can see some pictures of my besties!! (some not pictured… I still love you all!)
Happy Best Friends Day!!
Love from Texas,