Enrych Supports World Friendship Day 2021

Today Enrych is supporting World Friendship Day. We all know that friendships can enrich your life in many ways and good friends teach you about yourself and challenge you to be better. They encourage you to keep going when times get tough and celebrate your successes with you.

At Enrych our PAs are often seen as 'buddys' or 'mates' or even friends 'in disguise' and work closely with those we serve to give much more than that. Enrych have always aimed to have a positive impact on people's general, physical and mental health. Research even says friendships are just as important to your well-being as eating right and exercising.

It turns out that healthy relationships actually contribute to good physical health by decreasing health problems like diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. More importantly having strong social ties can also decrease feelings of loneliness, which evidence shows can take a toll on your longevity. According to a 2010 review, people with strong relationships have half the risk of premature death from all causes. Social isolation and loneliness are linked to a variety of health issues such as high blood pressure, substance abuse, heart disease, and even cancer.

One possible explanation for those health benefits is that having the right support can help you make lifestyle changes that can have a direct impact on your wellbeing. For example, friends can help you set and maintain goals to eat better and exercise more. They can also watch out for you and give a heads-up when any unhealthy behaviours (like drinking too much) get out of hand.

Additionally, people are more motivated and likely to stick to a weight loss or exercise programme when they do it with a buddy. It's much easier to get out and stay active when you have a someone by your side supporting you along the way. A PA may also suggest activities that you would not have considered on your own—pushing you outside your comfort zone to challenge the person they support which can be a good thing!

For those ever going through a hard time, having a someone to talk can make things a whole lot easier. Research also shows that happiness is contagious among friends. One study of high school students found that those who were depressed were twice as likely to recover if they had happy friends. 

Bev Cowley, Head of Community Development said "Everyone has self-doubts and insecurities every now and then. But having someone to support you plays a big role in building your self-esteem, or how much you appreciate and love yourself. Support can help you feel more confident by offering praise and reassurance when you're feeling unsure." Bev explained "Our PAs work hard to recognise the strengths in those we serve and will often remind them on just how amazing they are and how much they have to offer which can be really important".

Everyone goes through stressful events. Enrych knows how important it is to have people you can count on, you may be less likely to even perceive a tough time as stressful.  According to Harvard Medical School, "social connections help relieve levels of stress, which can harm the heart's arteries, gut function, insulin regulation, and the immune system."

As the song goes: “We all need somebody to lean on.” A lack of friends can leave you feeling lonely having someone to confide in means those being supported are more likely to push themselves to be the best they can be which is something really important to Enrych.

Bev added "Friends can also provide a positive influence. If you are surrounded by people who are generous with their time, help others, or are ambitious or family-orientated, you are more likely to develop those values yourself which is why we take a person-centred approach in everything we do" Bev went on, "Great friends have the power to mould you into the best version of yourself. At Enrych we constantly encourage those we support to do better and be the best person they can be".

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