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By Liggy Webb

The friends in my life, along with my family, are the most important thing to me, and every day I appreciate and am truly thankful for how special those relationships are. The trust that has developed within each of these friendships gives me a security and a feel good factor that I would not want to live without.

Research indicates that people with strong and broad social relationships are happier, healthier and live longer. Close relationships with family and friends provide love, meaning, support and increase our feelings of self-worth.

Sustaining friendship takes conscious effort. It is so important not to take for granted your friendships and showing appreciation is key. Something really important to remember too, is that when you spend time with your friends, be with them. It is a sad sign of modern times that so many people, when they are with their friends, are not really with them. How many times do you see people sitting with each other and spending more time on their mobile phones to other people? Being present and really valuing the time you are actually with them is so important!

When you want to show appreciation to your friends for their friendship, there are a number of things you could consider doing:

Show gratitude for a great friendship by reciprocating acts of indness and generosity.

Make mental notes about what you appreciate about each friendship; whether it is phone calls, help, invitations to dinner, etc., then do the same for them.

Tell your friends how much you appreciate them. People love positive feedback, they want to know they are appreciated, and they want to know
you notice what they do for you.

Every now and then, post a funny or sentimental card telling a friend how much you appreciate them. It’s easy to send texts/emails however cards show more you’ve made much more effort.