Ways to Be There for a Friend

One of life’s greatest treasures is that of a true and loyal friend. They are few and far between, we are truly blessed when we do come across genuine friendship. These true friendships are rare and priceless and we should do whatever is in our power to grow and maintain them.

Friendships, like any relationship, take a lot of work to keep them going. Life throws many things at us and when a friend of ours is in need, that is where we can step in and help. There are many ways to be there for a friend, or any loved one for that matter:

Communicate – Reach out to your friend and ask them questions to let them know that you are interested in knowing how they are doing and what they are going through. A simple “Hello, how are you?,” or “I am thinking of you,” can mean the world to someone.

Listen – The act of just being there for someone and listening to what they have to say makes others feel valued and cared for. Let them do most of the talking unless they ask for advice etc. Just providing a listening ear works wonders in helping someone talk out their feelings.

Humor – Depending on the situation, using your sense of humor may, or may not be appropriate. If it is, bring up some old funny memories, send some funny memes, or jokes, keep your friend smiling and laughing. It’s a mood booster for everyone!

Explore – Get out in nature, or go explore the town with your friend. Being in a new environment and having distractions can be very helpful, also being in the sun and fresh air are definite mood boosters. Grab lunch, or coffee and just take a stroll and admire nature’s beauty.

Gifts – This doesn’t have to be anything big, a simple card, flowers, box of chocolate, something that the other person enjoys is bound to bring a smile to their face. Just the act of giving and surprising someone can make them feel valued and loved. It is the small things in life that have the biggest meaning.

Touch – Human touch is unbelievably powerful and can truly counteract some very devastating emotions. Some people don’t like others in their personal space, so be mindful of this, but if they are comfortable with you, reach out and give them a warm hug, hold their hand, put your arm around them. Touch is very comforting.

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As you get to know your friend more and more, you will be able to judge what is the best plan of action to take should they need a pick-me-up. It is important to remember that people cope with emotions and life in different ways and different stages, sometimes someone may need to have time alone before they are accepting of help and love from others. I have learned that the hard way a few times, it’s hard not to take it personally when you are trying to be there for someone and they are not very accepting of it. Feel out the other person’s mood and use that as a guide.

As you can see, there are many ways to be there for a friend. When friendship is balanced, they will also in turn be there for you! The beauty of true friendship is knowing that you both will always be there for each other.

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Keep Your Mind on a Leash

I know that this title is a little out there and what I am about to say is ironic, but by “keeping your mind on a leash,” or in other words keeping tabs and having control over your mind and thoughts, it can really make for a more peaceful life. The mind is an extremely powerful thing.

Like many people, I deal with anxiety on an almost daily basis, it is very exhausting and really can make life quite challenging and unpleasant.  Over the years I have learned several techniques to try to minimize my anxiety and they do help, that is of course if I work at it and be consistent with it!

I’m sure that everyone has felt some sort of anxiety maybe during a test, before a presentation, meeting a deadline, gathering for a social event, having a fight with a loved one, these can all cause anxiety, however for those like myself, anxiety takes on a daily and persisting form.  There are times where I feel that my anxiety level is at a fair or good place and times where there is too much going on, my anxiety flares, and it feels like it’s consuming me.  I wanted to write this blog to give you some insight on what has helped me and hopefully it could help you too.

Our minds really do have so much power.  We must take great care of our mind and what we choose to “feed” it.  The thoughts that we think about ourselves and the world around us are very powerful even when not spoken.  If we make a mistake and we think to ourselves “I can’t do anything right,” if we close off communication with a loved one and think “They probably don’t love me anyway,” these are very damaging words and if repeated enough can cause you to actually believe these things about yourself to be true.

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Our thoughts and minds can run wild very easily if we let them.  When we feel anxious, when our mind starts wandering and our thoughts start racing and snowballing, it helps to put a stop to those thoughts right away.  The best way that I have found to do this is to negate, or counteract the thought that I am having. If the thought is “I always make mistakes,” negate that by thinking of everything that you’ve accomplished so far.  If the thought is “I am not good at relationships,” counteract that by telling yourself “Relationships are hard work, but are a learning experience and I am doing my best to better myself daily.”  We can be so hard on ourselves, other people tend to put us in a much brighter light, they don’t tend to see us the way that we see ourselves.  Replace negative and anxious thinking with “I can,” “I will,” “I am worthy,” “I am a good person,” etc.  Our minds can take a thought and run with it even if it is not even true at all.  Keep a tight watch of your thoughts and feelings. 

If you are like me, you tend to focus and worry about the future, we always hear that this robs us of the present and this is true, worrying about the future is not having control of our minds, we are missing out on what is right in front of us if we are thinking of something not yet here.  It is important to think and plan for the future, but not obsessively.  Life changes so much and so often and many times what we are worried about today may not even take place, or may not even be a worry in the future.  We can really get ahead of ourselves if we let it.  

By no means are these tips easy, I struggle daily with trying to implement these, but there is some definite relief and it is absolutely worth the try! Wishing you a peaceful and beautiful week, as always thank you so much for stopping by!

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