I’ve learned:  That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with. If you have a friend, or friends, that you consider to be happy, you are more likely to be happy and more able to spread that happiness to the people around you.  Positive  relationships are as important as healthy eating and exercise.  Having good friendships boosts your immune system.  Being socially engaged leads to more positive emotions, which in turn may actually boost your body’s immune system and reduce the physical signs of stress, say health experts.

It is also important to be a good friend yourself, providing others with as many of the benefits of friendship (infectious happiness, social support, someone to confide in) as you can.  It feels good to help others, and that only adds to your own happiness.

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen,   Out of Solitude:  Three Meditations on the Christian Life

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