The Benefit of Daily Conversation with Friends
When was the last time you spoke with a friend?
A recent study published earlier this year concluded that at least one conversation with a friend every day leads to an increased sense of well-being and happiness. And according to the study, the conversation didn’t necessarily have to be meaningful communication. It could also be catching up, joking around, showing concern, listening, valuing others’ opinions, and offering compliments.
Published by Sage Publishing and reported in the New York Post, the study noted the importance of daily social interaction in facilitating increased feelings of connection. Daily conversations also decreased stress compared to those whose day did not include connecting with a friend. One of the study’s co-writers concluded that these social interactions helped meet our need to belong. And face-to-face conversations resulted in an even stronger sense of well-being.
We certainly saw the consequences of not having those daily social interactions during the recent pandemic. Isolation took its toll on emotional health even while physical illness ravaged bodies.
A Different Application
But there’s another application here, one that’s no surprise to many Christians. If one daily conversation with a friend can increase our sense of well-being, happiness, and sense of belonging, what can a daily conversation with God accomplish? After all, don’t we belong to Him?
How many times have we heard about the importance of daily quiet time with the Lord? Of spending time in prayer—speaking to God and listening for His leading? Consider the psalmist’s exhortation to meditate on God’s law (Psalm 1:2). Or Jesus’s practice of rising early in the morning to pray (Mark 1:35). Even the disciples practiced time alone with God (Acts 10:9).
I can testify that my own sense of well-being and happiness significantly increases when I’m intentional about daily time with the Lord. It’s nice to know that, once again, psychological studies support what we’ve known all along!
How does daily time with God affect your sense of well-being during the day?
Thanks Ava for this reminder. Living on the rollercoaster of depression and anxiety (which is getting better for me) I need this reminder. I find it hard to reach out when I’m in a slump, and that reaches into my prayer time/quiet time as well. I know He is always there, as are friends, but depression can be a slippery slope to isolation for me if I’m not careful. Hope all is well with you.