How Friendships Benefit your Mental Health
Whether you’re sharing laughs over a cup of coffee or leaning on each other for support in tough times, good friends always seem to be there when we need them most. Lucky for us, evidence shows that this loyalty can have powerful positive effects on our health. In fact, studies have linked close friendships to physical, mental, and emotional health benefits.
Here are the top 5 benefits that research has found to be benefits of having friends at any age:
Experts found a link between social support from friendship and the immune system. People with good friends tend to have stronger immune systems and anti-inflammatory responses that can lead to quicker wound healing and reduce the risk of illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and some cancers.
Researchers believe that friendship also plays a role in the way the body processes stress. When you spend time with your friends and share what’s on your mind, your body may produce less of the stress hormone, cortisol, which can have a calming effect.
Supportive friends can help us feel more confident by offering praise, reassurance, and a hand to hold when we’re feeling unsure. Being there for each other in this way can help to develop a lifetime of gratifying companionship.
To find a little more joy in your life, turn to your happy friends. Studies have shown that socializing with happy people can rub off on you. You can amp up your happiness results by actively building friendships instead of waiting for them to come to you.
Better overall health.
Medical professionals believe that meaningful friendships promote overall healthy habits because they can encourage us to swap harmful habits for healthier ones. Whether it’s a better diet, more exercise, or permission to take a well-deserved break, our friends’ influence can help lower the risk of many health problems, including high blood pressure, obesity, and depression.
Embracing a rich social life can be good for your health throughout your life cycle. If you’re looking to foster new relationships, consider attending community events, volunteering, joining a faith community, or starting a new hobby where you can meet new people. No matter your age, you can always reap the many benefits of having good friends.