Strategies for Expanding Your Circle of Friends
Throughout February, we've been talking about relationships and their benefits for brain health. Maybe your new year's resolution was to improve your relationships this year, but you wish you had more positive friendships in your life. The good news – it's possible to expand your circle of friends with a little effort.
Strong friendships not only increase your joy in life, but studies also show that they lengthen life, boost brain health, and improve immunity. Since making new friends isn’t always the easiest, here are a few strategies you can use to expand your circle of friends.
Start Volunteering – Not only can you help others, but volunteering gives you a chance to meet new people and practice your social skills.
Join a Group – Many friendships are born of common interests, so consider joining a group based on your interests, such as a book club, a sports team, or even a class.
Get to Know Your Neighbors – It’s easy to keep to yourself, but if you want to make more friends, be intentional at waving to a fellow walker, saying hi to a neighbor, or starting a conversation with someone at your local coffee shop or café.
Befriend Friends-of-Friends – Want to expand your circle? Try meeting friends of your current friends. There’s a good chance you’ll have a lot in common.
Attend Art Events – If you love the arts, head to book readings, music recitals, local plays, or art galleries. It’s a wonderful way to connect with others who have similar interests.
Use Man's Best Friend – Do you have a dog? Let Fido help you make friends. Talk to other people walking their dogs. Head to a dog park and strike up a conversation. It’s a fun way to meet new friends.
Cheer for a Sports Team – If you have a favorite sports team, head to events or go to a local sports bar to cheer on your team with other fans. When you already share a sports team, it’s easier to strike up a conversation.
Remember to Unplug – If you’re buried in your phone all the time, it’s tough to meet new people and expand your circle. Put the smartphone away in social situations, make eye contact, and stroke up a conversation. You never know where a simple conversation may lead.
Try some of these strategies to build new relationships and expand your circle of friends. Remember, healthy friendships are great for brain health and better overall health. Let us know how these strategies work for you and be sure to check back for our new March series.