Friends are the best! They know how to make you laugh, they are there for you during the ups and the downs, and they don’t judge you for your bad hair day(s)! But, did you know that having friends can also lead to a healthier you? That’s right—having friendships have been linked to reduced stress, increased happiness, faster recovery times, and better sleep, to name a few!

There are so many reasons to celebrate the wonderful friendships in your life. July 30, also known as Friendship Day, is the perfect day to do it! Here are three ways to show gratitude for your friends on this day and all year long!

Send Your Thoughts

Life gets busy, and sometimes we forget to tell our friends how much they mean to us. Send your bestie a message to let them know you think they’re awesome! It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture; a simple call, text, social media message, or card will mean a lot to them. It also doesn’t need to be a sentimental confession; humor can go a long way in expressing how meaningful they are to you too! At a loss for words? Here are some great examples of friendship letters to help you brainstorm.

Give a Gift

When words just don’t seem like enough, maybe a special gift for your friend will help you to adequately display your gratitude. To pick the perfect gift to commemorate your friendship, dig deep into your history. Is there an inside joke that you could memorialize on a keychain? Is there a funny t-shirt that sums up your friendship? Or maybe you get them that necessary household good they’ve been needing, but in a color that screams their personality. No matter what you give, if you tie it into your past or present friendship, it’s sure to mean a lot. Here are a few more gift ideas to show gratitude for your friends.

Improve Your Friendship Skills

One of the best ways to show gratitude for your friends is to be an even better friend to them! So work on improving your friendship skills! There are many aspects of this, and it’s probably going to take customized trial and error to figure out how to be there for each friend. But, two things that will definitely matter to them is (1) how well you listen and (2) how well you remember.

Regardless of what your friend may be going through, they’ll need support and someone to lean on. Sometimes, they just need to vent and you need to listen. You don’t have to have all the answers. Just listen, ask questions, and resist the urge to give them your advice (unless it’s sought after). Be there for them as a non-judgemental and safe place. It might just mean the world to them.

The second part of this is to remember. Now that your friend has opened up to you, be sure to remember the conversation and follow up with them. Simple questions like, “How have you been since we last talked?” or “What ended up happening with [X, Y, or Z]?” can be so meaningful. It signals that you were listening and reiterates that you care and have been thinking of them.

Our friends mean a lot to us, and it’s time to show them! For this year’s Friendship Day on July 30, do something special for those people who matter most. Try sending your friends a message, give them a meaningful gift, or work to improve your friendship skills. Tag The Circle on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and let’s continue the discussion on how to show gratitude for your friends! We can’t wait to see what you come up with!