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Why Friends are Healthy

written by Head Health Nutter March 4, 2009

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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!

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4 comments

Emmanuel-Motivatorman March 6, 2009 at 11:08 am

Thanks for this post on relationships Stephanie.

It’s a welcome addition to your tips on a healthy lifestyle most people may not recognize.

Supportive relationships can be so energizing!

Emmanuel
Motivatorman

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Head Health Nut March 8, 2009 at 6:29 pm

You’re most welcome, Emmanuel. I’ve been wanting to write about how healthy it is to be social and this article gave me the meat to start the conversation.

Thank you for your wonderful support, Friend! 🙂

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Dee October 4, 2009 at 9:02 am

Well, I only just FOUND this article now, after reading the most recent one about healthy LOVE relationships, but I agree with Motivatorman that social support is all part of a good, healthy lifestyle.

And of course Steph, you said at the end, exactly what I was thinking as I was reading thru the ‘friendship connection’ … that it is equally crucial that these friendships be quality, healthy ones as well.

People will tell you who they are by their behaviour, habits, attitudes, and actions. Nobody needs a friend who is always negative or always self centred for example.

For the sake of my mental and physical health, I have had to “shed” quite a few pseudo friends in the past, and it was always the right decision ~ for me! Thank you also, for the validation, my friend! 😉

Reply
Head Health Nutter October 6, 2009 at 12:56 pm

@Dee: Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience with healthy relationships.

I think I’m finally getting it: when you raise your vibrational frequency so that you can be positive (at least most of the time) then you can love yourself as well as other people.

People come into our lives at specific times and reasons to help us grow as human beings. When one person has learned what they need to learn from the other but the other is resisting change for themselves, that’s when the relationship starts to break down. It’s at this point where we must make some tough decisions whether or not to end the relationship.

Congratulations, Dee, for being able to make these emotionally difficult decisions! 🙂

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