Friendship is a privilege that shouldn’t be underestimated. Because simply put, good friends are good for you. Social interactions trigger all those feel-good vibes in your brain’s endorphin system. There’s actual science behind this. If you have enjoyable friendships and an active social life, you’re less likely to develop serious illnesses later in life and more likely to live long. Friendships may even be more effective at extending your life span than exercise!
The crucial point here is the nature of those relationships, and how they make you feel loved, cared for, and listened to.
Here’s what research says:
So, now you know what your friends can do for you, but let’s talk about how they impact our every day.
We asked the Gardens of the Sun team and our Instagram fans what friendship means to them.
A selection of our favorites that gave us all the feels.
Friendship is choice. A choice to love someone not because of obligation. It’s deciding to trust and extend yourself to be as accountable to them as they are to you.by @waymelyndsay
Friendship is a celebration of your similarities and differences to others, and loving them for the ways your minds meet and the way they are astoundingly different.by @sophieerincooper
To me, friendship is like ice-cream. Sounds stupid, but hear me out. When I was about 5 years old, vanilla ice-cream was probably the best gift my tastebuds had ever received. Just plain ol vanilla ice-cream. Plus it was like we had a never-ending supply of the stuff. But at that point I had no idea how incredibly diverse the world of ice-cream was. Peanuts??? In ice-cream??? FRUIT??? Wow. Crazy. Then when I was 7, I tried mango ice-cream for the first time. Let me tell you, it was like my mouth had met it's soulmate. That perfect mix of sweet n smooth just clicked with me. The way I see it, when you're so young and you're so new to the world, you're happy to be friends with everyone. But there's always those few pivotal moments that define who you wanna surround yourself with and who you wanna be. I've tried endless amounts of ice-cream flavours and of course I like some more than others, just as I've met endless amounts of people and like some more than others. Sometimes I discover a new flavour that I obsess over, but then grow tired of. But mango is always the flavour I go back toby @miildsophia
Real friendship means you can keep it real with me. When you don't have to go around the truth in fear of hurting my feelings but telling me straight up in the most loving way you know how. Friendship is when you love someone and think about them no matter how busy life gets. When they make you laugh so hard you pee your pants (no joke this has happened to me too many times). Friendship is not caring how you look or feel because your bestie will take care of you no matter what. True friendship also means you have no shame, whether I'm talking too loud or dancing too hard you're right by my side getting turnt with me haha. True friendship to me is when you know the real me the chaotic me and still choose to love me ⚡️by @rawearth.co
To me it’s like a mountain. Stays there, is there when you need support, beautiful and endless. Though when you think on it. To reach the top you have to put effort and dedication into it. When you’ve climbed the mountain the view and pay off is very rewarding and amazing.by @bunnygoeslovin
Friendship is someone in your corner no matter the distance, time, and circumstance.by @whiskeyinateacupwitch
Friendship is that person that loves you endlessly, even when you're wrong, who shows you the right path and patiently waits till you find your way. It’s a forever kind of thing.by @thering_master
Friendship is giving a part of myself to the people I care about most, in exchange for pieces of them. My friends, new and old, continue to shape me into who I am today - for the best. Those pieces stay with us always, and keep us connected through time and distance.by @meggrenae
Friendship to me is the ghost on your front porch, no one can see them but you know they're there to keep you company if you make time to sit with them on the steps. I miss all of my best friends constantly because they all live overseas and we're either traveling to and fro to see each other, or we're dealing with timezones when we voice call. I'm always calling or texting them when I'm awake, they keep me company and fill my days with laughter, lending an ear when I need someone to listen. It's okay if no one else sees my ghosts. Friendship is something personal, something you feel and keep with you for a lifetime.by @zeevkesley
Friendship is like the first sun after a stormy night, the fresh air when it rains and the starry lake in a cloudless night. Friendship means to expand your family and let your heart grow into a garden of sunlight, it means to face the world and its ugly face together and to always have backup when you face your own demons. Friendship means hope and to have a home that comes with you wherever you go.by @lunapmay