Celebrate Your Best Friends on National Best Friends Day

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We already have enough reasons to love our best friends (that’s why they’re the best), but it’s a good practice to voice these reasons as a way of showing gratitude. To celebrate National Best Friends Day, here are some reasons to show your bestie some extra love:

Best friends give us a sense of belonging. According to Dr. Katherine Hall, “a sense of belonging improves your motivation, health, and happiness. When you see your connection to others, you know that all people struggle and have difficult times. You are not alone. There is comfort in that knowledge.” Our best friends have a special way of making us feel like we’re at home.

Our best friends also teach us a lot about life. One of the things we learn from friendships like these is conflict resolution. Friendships are like any other relationship in that sometimes we argue and disagree. Resolving issues, coming to compromises, and learning to love each other’s differences are invaluable social skills and we learn all things from our best friends.

Close friends are also able to give you necessary reality checks from time to time. Because best friends know us so well, they are able to see things that we can’t, and aren’t afraid to share their dose of reality with you. Friends who care about us the most can offer insights and will have a perspective on our behavior that others might not see.

Sometimes life hands us lemons and we have to deal with some difficult stuff. Best friends are there through thick and thin, and they are actually scientifically proven to help relieve stress during these times. Being with a BFF during a stressful event reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, according to a 2011 study published in Developmental Psychology. Not only that, people in the study didn’t feel as upset about the experience if their best friend was around.

Not only do our best friends offer a shoulder to cry on and some much needed TLC, they’re also good to have around because their good moods are contagious. A 2008 study published in the British Medical Journal found that people were 15 percent more likely to be happy themselves when they spent time with a happy friend—and that feel-good effect stretches all the way to their friends’ friends’ friends. Friendship really does make the world a happier place.

Lauren lives in OB with her French bulldog, Elvis Presley. She loves laughter and the great outdoors. You can contact her at [email protected].

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