Metro ran a fascinating article this past Tuesday, The friendship connection: Five reasons why close bonds are good for your health and well-being. It’s a great article, citing studies to back up each point and quoting physicians who believe in the health benefits of friendship. So if you have the time, it’s well-worth the read!
Here are the 5 reasons, summarized for your convenience:
- Your stress level drops. Lonely people seem to react more intensely to life’s downs. If you find life stressful, the increased amount of hormones can lead to high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke.
- You may lose weight. Hanging around people who lead healthy lifestyles rub off. Their tricks for maintaining moderation will open up conversation about healthy living, bringing awareness to their friends and ideas in other ways to control tendencies to indulge.
- You may live longer. Those who remain isolated during sickness or depression have been shown to be twice as likely to die than those who have stronger social ties.
- You’ll stay active. An interesting study that found children who are good at sports also tend to be more satisfied with the number and types of friends they have. Not to mention how exercising with friends makes it more fun!
- Your love life may improve. Being social hones your relationship and communication skills, which goes a long way with enhancing an intimate relationship. Plus, they can give us a different perspective on our problems. Meaningful conversations with friends often provide us insight into behaviour that causes stress for our partners (like chronic lateness).
Let’s thank Tina Pittaway for a bang up job on this article.
Something I’d like to note here, though, is the difference in quality of friendships. It makes intuitive sense that healthy friendships enhance your health, but is it clear that an unhealthy relationship is equally detrimental to health?
Please chime in with your thoughts and share your research/experience with us!