Maintaining friendships is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Friends provide social support and can help us through difficult times. However, it can be challenging to find the time to keep in touch with our friends, especially if we are busy with work or other commitments. That’s why scheduling time on your calendar specifically for contacting friends is a great way to ensure that you don’t lose those valuable relationships!
Research into human relationships shows the importance of friendships. In the everyday hustle of our lives, we become a follower to what is on our calendars. If we want to stay connected with our friends, we must schedule a time to talk and catch up. Even a 30-minute phone call with a friend can have huge, lasting impacts on our mental health.
When we make time to talk with friends, it strengthens our relationships. Research has shown that people who speak on the phone more than once a week are less likely to experience depression and loneliness. This is because talking with friends releases oxytocin. Oxytocin makes us feel good, and it helps to reduce stress levels.
Additionally, unlocking time off on your calendar allows you to have more control over what you do in your day. When you know you have the appointment time blocked out, you are less likely to schedule other activities or meetings in its place. This way, you can make the most of your time with friends and not feel guilty about taking some time for yourself.
One of the reasons people tend not to schedule open blocks of time out on their schedule is the phenomenon of negative forecasting bias. This is the idea that we tend to think negatively about the future, and so don’t bother making plans because we assume they won’t happen. Or, we dread not having an open space in the future.
For the police world, the best example of negative forecasting bias is when we dread going to or attending a training event. We think, “I don’t want to go. It’s going to be terrible.” It could be as simple as in-service training, which is nothing more than annual updates and maybe firearms qualifications. By all means, it is typically an easy day.
Yet, despite this, we dread going. We see it on the calendar and immediately get anxiety over attending. Once we attend the training, we think to ourselves, “that wasn’t so bad.” However, when it rolls around again next year, we are back to dreading it.
Negative forecasting bias can also prevent us from taking time for ourselves. We might think, “I don’t want to block out any time on my calendar because something might come up.” But by doing this, we are more likely to have something come up. Having time blocked out for you on your calendar gives you a sense of ownership over that time and shows that it is crucial.
When it comes to our relationships, we should be proactive and schedule a time to catch up with friends. This will help us maintain those valuable relationships and reduce stress levels. Plus, it just feels good to talk with friends.
In a chaotic world, it is easy to feel lost. Control what you can; schedule a time to call a friend. It’s not intrusive and can easily be accomplished. By taking some control over our lives and improving interpersonal relationships, we are preventing mental anguish for ourselves in the future.
Taking control of your life can help improve your relationships with other people. If we are busy or overworked, the best way to maintain relationships with friends and family is by scheduling time on our calendars specifically for them. This helps us avoid the pitfalls of negative forecasting bias and not having any open blocks of time in the future. This can lead to reduced stress levels and a better overall feeling.