Health is a person’s greatest asset. If a person is not healthy, no amount of richness will bring him happiness. One can have a healthy mind and body all the time. One of the most important aspects of life that can contribute to your good heath is friendship.
There’s a lot more to friendship than just having someone to talk to. Having a strong social support network can benefit your health the same extent as exercising and giving up smoking. Of course, that’s not to say that you should give up exercising. Good friends are natural stress busters. They do this by helping you get through the tough times, improve your sense of belonging and purpose plus boost your self-confidence and self-worth.
Studies looking at the impact of social networks, have found that the risk of health conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes were significantly higher amongst those who feel socially isolated. Feeling lonely generates an ongoing stress response which is what increase your risk for disease. Ultimately social relationships provide real meaning to our lives and in that way encourage us to take better care of ourselves
True friendship is like sound health, the worth of it is not recognized until it is lost. Charles Caleb Colton, a man of wisdom was once asked what his richest treasure was; he said he had all his happiness treasured in his friendship was the most valuable relationship he cherished. They are the ones who let us be the way we are and love us without pretentions. They help us rise from our deepest falls and help you smile in the darkest of times. Overall, friends can and do influence our thoughts and outlook.
Having and maintaining a good friendship improves psychological wellbeing. With friends there is less chance of suppressing one’s emotions. A friend will always be there when you need to talk or express your feelings. It can be of great significance as it may help one overcome any mental distress and issues.
The companionship witnessed in friendship helps in keeping depression at bay. It helps in increasing feeling of contentedness and happiness. Having the right group of friends can boost ego and self-esteem. It also helps in coping with an emotional trauma like loss or death of a loved one or failure, divorce, illness, acts as a stress buster. Sharing a good life with your friends is perhaps the best mood that one can enjoy.
The stress hormone cortisol is released when one suffers from feeling of loneliness. This increases blood pressure and triggers hormonal imbalances. Sharing a good laugh and relaxing with friends tackles the root cause of stress, helps follow healthy lifestyle and good habits.
Friends are a reliable source of motivation. Whether you have to hit the gym and get in shape or follow your dreams, friends are always there to push you. Following a fitness routine with your best friend results in more dedication to the routine and consistency.
Good friends will also help in keeping one away from risks and addictions like excessive drinking and smoking. According to a Harvard study, being surrounded by and regular visits by friends helped in faster recovery from severe illnesses. This study was conducted on patients with breast cancer. Research showed that patients with no friends were 4 times more likely to die from the disease than patients with a strong friendship network and sizable number of friends.
Being in company of friends has also proven to increase life span. According to research conducted by an Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing, it was found that having healthy friendship increased longevity more than having close relationships with children and family. This study was conducted on 1,500 seniors for a span of 10 years.
Friendships also delay ageing. Now isn’t that one benefit we all would love the most. According to a study conducted by the University of Brandeis, a healthy and fruitful friendship along with proper exercise can help in delaying the ageing process. Helps in discussing and handling sexual problems. In a study conducted on seniors aged between 57 to 82 years of age published in the Journal of Gerontology Social Sciences it was seen that they showed fewer signs of depression due to sexual problems. Having friends gave them scope to discuss their sexual problems which they would otherwise be uncomfortable discussing with a medical expert.
Obviously, it also helps enhance happiness. Friends have a significant impact on the happiness index. Catching up with friends and having a healthy discussion on the intellectual things can help improve general intelligence. A study published in the Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science focused on the connection between social and general intelligence. It was seen that a 10-minute chat with a good friend or a group of friends could boost intellectual levels and thinking.
Lastly a supportive group of friends can also help tackle insomnia. For all those who have trouble sleeping, good friends can come to rescue. A healthy friendship leads to good emotional health, lesser stress and feeling of loneliness. This directly effects the quality of sleep.
So here we have, so many benefits of having friends. Make sure you have a whole bunch oof them, appreciate them and thank them for their beautiful gift of friendship in your life.