Month: July 2022

What are the Most Important Signs of a True Friend?

In all cultures, friendship is considered a greatly important interpersonal relationship that we all need to experience and maintain. 

Having a true friend is a blessing, and you probably already know that. But like in any other relationship, having a healthy and satisfactory friendship requires effort from both sides.

Below, we discuss a topic everyone cares about, but many are not quick to discuss out loud – the signs of a true friend standing by your side. 

How Can You Tell if Someone is Really Your Friend?

How you feel about yourself when you are with someone tells a lot about that person. A real friend will help you feel good enough and totally comfortable in your own skin without making any extra effort to achieve that. This is a sign that this person is a really good friend of yours and someone worth your reciprocal engagement. 

When you are with a genuine friend, you will never feel judged. In fact, you will feel accepted exactly the way you are – with your positive and negative traits. If you can be your most authentic self around someone, then this someone is a valuable friend you can rely on. 

Finally – another sign of true friendship is that you don’t feel like you need to pick your words carefully when you’re with someone else. You know that your friend is accepting you the way you are – you can share a burst of laughter, sadness, good news, and joyful moments. In any situation, your friend will encourage you without needing to ask for it.

What are the True Characteristics of a True Friend?

Spending time with a friend, sharing exciting news, or just sitting in silence is a unique experience where you connect on a different level with another human being. 

Fortunately or not, quality shared moments are not the only and not the most fundamental aspects of having a true friend. Some other common characteristics you can find in every genuine friend include, for example: 

  • They are empathetic. Listening to your friend and putting yourself in someone else’s shoes builds up empathy between you and strengthens your friendship. Sometimes we don’t need advice; we need someone to hear about our struggles and pay attention. You can always share your difficulties and happiness with your true friends, knowing they share the same emotions. 
  • They are always ready to help. A true friend will always help you when in need, even if they are also in a bad situation. This is a very key moment in a friendship. Next time, don’t ask yourself, “who are my true friends” but ask yourself, “who is always ready to help me and at the same time he or she needs help.” A true friend is selfless, grounded, and caring. 
  • A true friend keeps a secret. We all have secrets. Sometimes we need to share them without being judged, rejected, or afraid that our secrets might leak. Being able to share a secret with a friend is like taking a massive weight off your shoulders. Also, it would be best if you warned your friend – they can only respect your privacy if they know its boundaries. 

How Do You Know if Someone Isn’t Your Friend?

Here are some signs you need to pay attention to if you want to determine who is not your genuine friend: 

  • You feel tired and drained after hanging out with them. This is a very strong sign that these people are toxic and just consume your positive energy – consciously or not.
  • They make you feel less than them when you are around them. If you feel you are not worthy, you should stop hanging with those people. They are not your friends. A good friend will always make you feel good about yourself. 
  • They are not available when you need them, but they are available when they need you. This is an obvious one, but it can be tricky to recognize in real life. People who are pretending to be always “busy” for you when you need them are not your friends. A good friend will always be there when you are in need. 
  • They don’t show you respect as a person. If you feel like your friends don’t respect you as a human being with a set of characteristics, then they might not be your good friends. Think about the situations where they don’t accept your beliefs and viewpoints, but in a negative way. Everyone has an opinion. But if they make you feel you are stupid or less worthy for what you’re saying and thinking, then it’s a sign that they don’t respect you and they don’t deserve your trust. (1)

Who Is a True Friend?

It is natural to question your friendships. But pay attention to what exactly makes you wonder. 

A true friend:

  • Will not trigger doubts in you about your friendship;
  • Will stand up for you;
  • Is honest and trustworthy;
  • Is not passive-aggressive towards you;
  • Accepts you and encourages you;
  • Celebrate your success;
  • Shares your sorrow;
  • Respects you and your boundaries. 

Does it sound like someone you know? Then, you better treasure that person and do your best to do the same for them. 

Do True Friends Really Exist?

Yes. True friends do exist. A true friend is someone ready to help and eager to give without expecting anything in return. Anyway, you return them their favor – because it’s what you honestly want and actually need to do. 

If you feel like you haven’t met that kind of person in your life, you are wrong. Think about it – who is selflessly ready to give without expecting to receive? These are probably your parents. Even if you don’t have true friends, your parents will always be there for you. 

At the end of the day, friends are the family you pick for yourself, which is something huge. So if you still haven’t found your clique, worry not – sometimes, it is better to learn how to live alone rather than with toxicity. But when you find them – cherish them and give them your best because it will all be worth it. 

Emotional Recognition exercise will help you to recognize emotions and understand who is your real friend.

How Many Hugs a Day Do You Need?

A hug per day keeps the doctor away. Just like the apple.

Historically and evolutionary speaking, hugging was most likely the easiest way of sharing body warmth between individuals, including when warmth was life-saving. Anyway – both back then and today, hugging has much more power than that.

A hug is a universal way of sharing happiness, excitement, and sadness. Sometimes a tight, caring hug from a loved one is enough to feel good. 

Many researchers confirm the benefits of hugging and cuddling – a hug goes deep in your emotional world and improves your mental and physical health. 

Why is a Hug so Powerful?

Have you noticed how babies are reaching out to cuddle? They find immediate comfort and peace in mom’s arms. A study shows that when a baby grows up with an affectionate mother, it is happier, more joyful, less stressed, and more empathetic as an adult.

So, here is how a hug is a game-changer:

  • A simple hug can reduce stress and make you feel more peaceful and comfortable. 
  • It will increase the “bonding” and “caring” hormones in your blood.
  • When you hug someone, you may notice how your muscles relax, and you may start feeling less tension in your neck and shoulders. 
  • You instantly become peaceful, and you feel full of love. 
  • Hugging improves your heart rate, blood pressure, and mental health. Plus, it strengthens your immune system!

This being said, one shall never underrate the therapeutic and healing properties of hugs. So, whenever a friend or a family member is going through a tough time, you can just give them a long tight hug to raise their spirits and remind them of the simple pleasures in life.

What Happens When You Hug Someone for 20 Seconds?

Every hug and physical touch helps maintain the feeling of closeness, intimacy, and trust in all types of relationships. Many scientific studies show that hugs lasting for 20 seconds or longer have the most powerful impact on your body and well-being. 

Some of the 20-second hug benefits are:

  • Increased level of oxytocin
  • Increased satisfaction and delight
  • Lowered level of stress
  • Improved connection and bonding
  • Lower blood pressure
  • A healthy heart 

There is something powerful and empowering in long hugs. And if it sounds odd and abstract – you can try hugging for 20 seconds a day with your partner and examine this sensation yourself. 

What are the Benefits of Being Hugged?

If you still feel unsure about how hugs are good for you, we’ve listed some of the hugs’ medical benefits below:

Hugs Protect you From Stress-Based Infections

When stressed, our immune system usually weakens, thus leading to different deficiencies and health issue predispositions. A recent study shows that if you hug frequently, it will lower the chance of getting infections based on stress. The more you hug, the less overwhelmed and anxious you will feel.

Cuddling Releases the Hormone of “Feeling Good

When we have physical contact with a person we love, our body releases hormones responsible for feeling good. These hormones are oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin. Researchers found out that if you hug for more than 6 seconds, your body will release a high level of oxytocin and serotonin.

Hugging Improves Your Self-Esteem

Can you imagine that a hug plays an important role at a cellular level in your body? There are times when you feel down and not worthy. During these times, hug a beloved one. It is a form of social support, or exactly what you need to boost your self-esteem.

Hugging Reduces Pain  

In this study, people diagnosed with fibromyalgia start to feel less pain when a light physical touching of their body is involved. In addition, hugging helps you release physical strain in your body, reduce muscle tension, and even sleep better.

Why do Tight Hugs Feel so Good?

Tight hugs have a positive impact on your body and your brain. Getting a hug from someone you love gives you a sense of familiarity and protection. A tight hug communicates friendship, warmth, acceptance, and appreciation.

A long, firm hug makes your body produce more serotonin in your brain. This will elevate your mood and will reduce depressive and anxious feelings. It also beats the feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.

Tight hugs make you feel you can trust this person and you are in a safe zone. As a result, you become more mindful and present with the current situation. So – do your best to give tight hugs every time you hug someone – it means much more than a loose hug and says more than a million words. 

The Power of a Hug: Quotes

Do you think hugging and cuddling bring the greatest joy you can experience? You are not alone. 

According to the famous family therapist Virginia Satir: 

We need 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 hugs a day for maintenance, 12 hugs a day for growth.” 

Here are some other inspiring hug quotes you can use for inspiration:

  • I have learned that there is more power in a good strong hug than in a thousand meaningful words.” – Ann Hood. 
  • However long a hug lasts, it doesn’t last long enough.” – Kyle Schmalenberg.
  • Be a love pharmacist: dispense hugs like medicine—they are!” – Terri Guillemets
  • The only cure for certain pain is an affectionate, pauseful, warm hug.” – Meghna Sodha 
  • Putting your love into hugs is much more effective than putting it into words.” – Maria Bastida
  • Hugging: the truest form of giving and receiving.” – Carol ‘CC’ Miller
  • Sometimes you have to hug yourself and squeeze your own shoulder and be thankful it is humanly possible.” – Richelle E. Goodrich
  • Love is hands, holding you.” – Caroline Kepnes

Celebrate the Power of a Hug!

Finally – we also have a special holiday celebrating the positive influence of a hug!

January 21st is an annual event dedicated to hugging. The National Hugging Day, created by Kevin Zaborney, aims to give us the tool for deeper connection, bonding, and affection. 

To celebrate the day, you can offer a hug to a beloved one… Or literally anyone! 

What are Well-Being Surveys and How to Use Them?

In recent decades, mental health awareness has been a focal point of multiple governmental and nongovernmental organizations aiming to understand society and its present-day challenges better. This includes both well-being evaluation and its following support programs for improving the mental health of people of all ages, regions, and social groups.

Mental health experts have been using tens of traditional and innovative ways to make a momentary snapshot of peoples’ emotional health. Nevertheless, professionals increasingly accept well-being surveys as the swiftest and easiest way to make a valid conclusion with minimum effort. 

What exactly are well-being surveys, why are they practiced, and how are their results used? We’re about to give you the basics in the paragraphs below. 

What is the Feeling of Well-Being?

To measure the level of well-being, we need to have a clear definition of well-being in the first place. Although the answer to this question is far from unambiguous, we could compare the level of well-being to the quality of life.

It’s about a person and their positive perception of life in multiple aspects. It goes from physical and emotional health, through satisfying social and romantic relationships, to work-life balance and financial independence.

All in all, the feeling of well-being is when you are satisfied with your personal state as a human being and with your social role in your society. However, this feeling is not static and may change for various internal and external factors. That’s when your well-being score fluctuates. And the more you are aware of the changes, the more you are able to react and regain your balance.

How Do You Rate Your Well-Being?

It would be hard for a non-professional to evaluate their own well-being without external guidance or expert surveying. So, the easiest way is to use ready-made surveys with multiple wellbeing survey questions that will take you through your internal realm in merely a few minutes. 

You can find these types of surveys online, in different well-being apps, and – of course – by reaching out directly to your mental health provider. After you complete such a survey, you will receive easy-to-read results, often followed by a thorough explanation of your score.

In RelaxifyApp, your well-being survey will be used as a base for developing your own well-being program with mental fitness games focused directly on your current pain points. 

What is a Well-Being Survey?

Now straight to the point. A well-being survey is a questionnaire that aims to assess your performance under different criteria – often emotional, cognitive, social, physical, and even spiritual. The questions may or may not be divided into different sections, and your answers can take anything from five minutes to half an hour, depending on the length and depth of the survey you participate in. 

You can decide to take the well-being survey by yourself. Also, it can be offered to you by state officials, research organizations, NGO-s, or even your employer. Staff wellbeing surveys are a huge part of corporate responsibility nowadays, as they provide grounds for optimizing internal processes and taking better care of employees. 

Well-being survey results can point out early signs of mental distress. They can also prevent burnout, help spot unproductive thinking patterns, and even help you rethink your social behavior. That’s why answering some questions is merely the beginning. And what follows is the proper reaction to whatever your answers reveal. 

What is Worker Well-Being?

Worker well-being relates to the individual satisfaction an employee receives in the environment they work in. This includes, but is not limited to the satisfaction from:

  • Safety and quality of the physical environment in the workplace;
  • Balance between personal life and professional responsibilities;
  • Working hours and the possibility for flexible or remote work;
  • Economic stability and independence granted by a competitive salary;
  • Social benefits, reputation, and respect one receives from their profession;
  • Social environment and relations in the immediate and larger team groups;
  • Creative satisfaction, inspiration, engagement, and thrill from the job;
  • Opportunities for growing, developing, and working on one’s talents;
  • Respectful, considerate, and open-minded company management;
  • Levels of stress in the workplace;
  • Equality and diversity in the workplace, etc. 

So, it’s not enough to survey your employees, find out they’re angry and offer them Thursday afternoon games to relieve anger. Instead, it’s way more important to develop a general strategy for worker well-being that will not address poor results but avoid and prevent them in the first place. 

What Should I Ask in a Well-Being Survey?

Many employers and their HR teams often find themselves lost when having to design a functional well-being survey. In the best-case scenario, a psychologist or a psychotherapist will prepare the questionnaire for you. That’s the safest way to go because these people have a license to evaluate a person’s well-being by asking the right questions. 

The most popular format in mental fitness apps is the “Strongly agree” to “Strongly disagree” scale, applied to various statements. It’s about giving the person a simple and easy-to-understand declaration and asking them to show how it relates to them at the moment.

Examples of such statements in RelaxifyApp that you can use as employee wellbeing survey questions are:

  • “I have people that I can talk to about my feelings.”
  • “I have clear goals in my life.”
  • “Other people acknowledge my accomplishments.”
  • “I choose freely what to do and say.”
  • “I feel really tired.”, etc.

Depending on the answers, you’ll be able to easily capture the overall situation of the individual. And then – to provide a solution for their challenges. Your solution can include anything from extra breaks to stress release games or even corporate access to burnout apps. 

At the end of the day, it’s imperative to know the challenge in order to address it. And well-being surveys will help you both in spotting problems and measuring how well you’ve managed to handle them.

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