5: Nurture Social Relationships

When I was in high school, I had a small group of friends. I was not popular by any means, but I had my group. They were definitely the saviours of my high school experience, as without them, I would have been dreadfully unhappy. One friend had been with me since age 7 and we just ‘got’ each other.

Having many friends is not so important to happiness as is having at least one person who understands you at a deep level. It’s not surprising that studies have found a relationship between loneliness and depression.

As we get older and are less likely to see our friends on a regular basis (school was great for that, wasn’t it), we have to work harder and harder to nuture social relationships. Technology has both helped and hindered us in this – email, Facebook, Skype, all can be used positively and negatively in maintaining friendships. The best thing one can do is schedule a time when nothing else is going on to connect to that special someone.

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