There are many articles written about the importance of friendship so I would just like to focus on how friendship can help us if we are feeling down or anxious. Feeling lonely or socially isolated can create stress and exaggerate any problems we may be facing. Some people claim to have 100s of friends and I often wonder about the quality of these relationships. Friendship is hard work. To be there for someone, to share experiences and to keep in touch takes time and energy, and these things are in short supply when we are feeling down.
When we feel low we tend to focus on ourselves and our thoughts and feelings. It can feel like there is no space for anyone else. Our friends can sustain and nurture us at times like this. It can be so validating to spend time with someone who cares for us and listens to us and helps us to feel good about ourselves. A true friend will accept how we are and allow us to voice our fears without laughing at us. Often there is a moment in a relationship when we realise that someone is a genuine friend. Maybe they stick up for us when everyone else stays quiet or maybe they just seem to know how we are feeling. If you have someone like this in your life it’s great. If you don’t then maybe counselling could help you to explore ways of developing a support network.