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Friendship and Health

Close Friendship Lowers Stress

We all have stress no matter what walk of life we come from, or where we are in our careers or personal lives.

Of course, stress can be both beneficial as well as harmful, from our ability to eat properly or get enough sleep to anger and coronary artery disease.

Stress makes it more likely to experience problems (or make existing problems worse) and it can even shorten your life.

The good news is, the American Psychological Association has found out you can really impact your life for the better just by having friends.

  • A close tie with someone else gives you emotional support in a way nothing else can, and it’s this support that can reduce stress and help you live a healthier life.

Close Friendship Protects You Against Hardship

While friendship can’t keep the bad stuff from hitting, they can make a difference in how you handle the rough stuff.

From emotional support to reducing the stress by reduing your cortisol, friendships really do make a difference.

By having someone you can lean on, by having someone who can build you up during hard times, there is no substitute for a close friend.

Close Friendships Help Form Better Habits

It’s an oft quoted saying, but we are the sum of the people we spend the most time with.

When we hang out with people who have habits we admire, we start picking up those behaviors subconsciously. In contrast, the same holds true when we hang out with people who have bad habits.

After all, both happiness and misery rubs off.

The lesson is clear, choose your friends wisely and you’ll see your own life improve for the better!

Close Friendships Make You Live Happier, Healthier, & Longer

Lastly, there are also direct psychological benefits of friendship, as those who enjoy positive friendships report more life satisfaction:

  • They’re happier.

  • They’re healthier.

  • They have more resilient mental health.

  • And they even live longer.

Friends Health Connection

All told, having healthy and close friendships isn’t just good for your social life, it’s good for you.

But something to notice about the above is that every heading began with the word ‘close’. And this is important.

It really is nothing notable these days for someone to have a thousand or more Facebook friends, but these friendships don’t give the above health benefits, and they may even make your health worse due to you comparing yourself against them.

NB: Only the very best photos, situations, and experiences, are put up on social media for others to see. In the vast majority of cases, their life is as normal as yours.

  • To repeat, it’s the closeness of your relationships that matter most, as it is this closeness that will see you experiencing the above health benefits.

It’s the closeness that supports you, makes you happier, and protects your mental health, not whether they can be found in your friendship circle.

It's the closeness of your relationships that matter most—that supports you, that makes you happier, that protects your mental health, and that makes you live longer. Click To Tweet

With that in mind, maybe it’s time you put a little more focus on the friends you already have in your life—it’ll be a win-win scenario for all involved.


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