The Happiness versus Friendship Connection

How do friendships factor into the happiness equation?

The Happiness versus Friendship Connection

How do friendships factor into the happiness equation?

According to the Mayo Clinic, friendships enrich every person’s life and, in fact, can impact our health and overall well-being. Loneliness or a lack of meaningful relationships can lead people down the road to mental illness, including depression. In many senior communities, older adults who engage in conversation with companions lead healthier and more positive lives, increasing their longevity compared to those who live alone, secluded from contact with friends and others their age.

Friendships have many life-saving and enhancing benefits in one’s life, including:

  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Improving sense of belonging
  • Providing coping mechanisms for life’s stresses and challenges
  • Improving self-confidence and self-worth

Research also shows that friendships play a significant role in our overall health. Those with strong social connections experience fewer bouts with health-related issues and are more likely to live longer than those who may find it difficult to make friends or never connect with others personally and/or professionally.

Friendships Make People Happy and More Productive

All in all, it can be said that friendships make people happy. Do you have that friend who you can reach out to at any time, day or night, and you pick up right where you left off? Do your conversations leave you feeling lighter and more at peace? What draws you to this person? Is it their personality or their funny phrases? Maybe it is their way of making you feel comfortable in your own skin. Regardless of the WHY, you gain something from their friendship. It fills a void or hole that only that person can fill.

Of course, we all have relationships with family members, spouses, and siblings. But, there is something different about having a good friend to make memories with, share a good cry on their shoulder, and who will undoubtedly listen to your worries. While we meet people every day and in various situations, we don’t befriend everyone we meet. Instead, some may become a passing acquaintance or a blip on the timeline of life. However, in those cases in which relationships develop and are nurtured, many memories and fun times typically are created.

So, how do friendships at work help you enjoy the many hours that you spend away from family? According to Emma Seppälä and Marissa King in their Harvard Business Review article, Having Work Friends Can Be Tricky, but It’s Worth It, those who have friends at work are more likely to be happier, healthier, and more engaged in their job. Research has shown that developing friendships at work helps employees improve productivity, increase job satisfaction, and demonstrate higher retention rates. Ultimately, employees who are more engaged and motivated in their jobs tend to climb the ladder through improved performance and professional success.

Friendships: The Happiness Factor

Friendships are more than just someone to grab a pint with or complain about the boss. Relationships fill a deep-seated need that all humans have for contact and connections with others. It is only logical that we would form relationships with others at our place of employment since we spend such a large portion of our lives working. The world might be a sad and lonely place if we had to compartmentalize our relationships into only those times or places outside of work. I am sure that most people would concur that even after leaving a job, they have carried on those friendships long after their employment ended. Why? Because friendships bring us happiness! Plain and simple!

Why not nurture something that has to potential to not only enhance a person’s life but to improve their productivity and on-the-job performance? As an employer, if you are looking for ways to help employees develop those relationships that will bring friendship and potentially long-term happiness, isn’t it worth learning more? Reach out to to learn more about how the Overhere App can best serve you and your employees – you very well may make some new friends along the way as well!