The ability to make friends is something that is ingrained in our natural instinct for survival. Through certain life experiences, and the idea of the “independent male,” it seems that this natural talent is not as prevalent anymore. Think about going to the grocery store. How many people do we see interacting? How about apartment complexes or neighborhoods? Typically people there only know one or two of their neighbors. With the easy access to food, shelter, and survival, the need to make new friends is characterized as unnecessary in our mind. However, we all have experienced the feeling of new bonds. It feels amazing!
The reason this feels so good is due to our reward system in the brain. Anytime we do something that agrees with self preservation, our brain rewards us. In sobriety, the affirmation of doing the right thing is necessary in rewiring our brains to remain content without substances. The addicted brain is previously rewired to believe drugs are the necessary survival mechanism. Any effort in proving this to be false greatly increases the ability to not crave substances. It also increases the longevity of our lives. A 10 year Australian study found people with solid groups of friends were 22% more likely to live longer than individuals with fewer friends.
Not only does it help biologically, making new friends adds a greater purpose to our lives. Imagine walking into any local store, restaurant, park, and seeing a few people you know. It changes our outlook on live. We become part of this environment. We become eager to make more friends. If you need some ideas on how to get started, check on this post on making connections in sobriety. It also reaffirms how good of a person you are by interacting. It clears the mind from social media, and brings you more in the present. I can go on and on about the benefits, but instead, go out and try it. Next time you’re at the store, or anywhere where you have to interact with a stranger, try to learn something about your cashier. These places are the best because there is no icebreaker needed. Start small, and practice your skills on opening people up. Become a ninja at making friends, and show the world that human interaction is still valued!
At Tree House Recovery, we’re helping men find freedom from addiction. Our treatment programs create sustainable change for sustainable recovery by helping men find their strength in body, mind, and spirit. For information on our Orange County programs, call us today: (855) 202-2138