Good Friends Can Lead To Good Health
“Remember no man is a failure who has friends.”
– It’s A Wonderful Life
Did anybody tell you that having good friends is good for your health? A study that observed 1500 elderly people for 10 years concluded that those who had a larger network of friends lived longer by more than 20%. (Source)
Various other studies and reviews have concluded that people with strong social bonds are less likely to die early. This proves that one’s social relationships affect one’s life span directly.
But what’s the connection between friendship and good health? Well, having good friends can offer several benefits, such as:
- Strengthen your purpose in life – We live in an age where one’s will to live is so weak that it falters at every minor inconvenience. Having good friends can change this. There is a renewed sense of purpose and a strong will to live when you have your ‘besties’ around.
- Inculcate a sense of belonging – Man is a social animal. From prehistoric times, we have learned to live in groups. We need other people with us as part of the survival game. Hence, the need to ‘belong’ is part of our inherent nature. In modern times, friendship has contributed towards inculcating a sense of belonging in every individual. This automatically nurtures our will to survive.
- Reduce stress – Being excluded or rejected by a group of people increases the hormone cortisol that aggravates stress. On the other hand, being accepted by a group of people can lower the cortisol levels, thus cutting down stress.
- Keep loneliness at bay – One of the major causes behind diseases like dementia, depression, etc. are loneliness. Having people who care about you can keep loneliness at bay and reduce the risk of mental health problems.
- Help cope with disaster – Dealing with situations like divorce or death can be devastating. But friends can help us cope with such tragic events and help us rebuild our life.
So the next time you go out with your friends for coffee, tell them how much they mean to you and celebrate your friendship!