Having friends is much more important for life than just to provide a fun person to spend time with. Research shows that making and fostering healthy relationships can benefit you in physical, mental and social ways. Making friends isn’t always easy, but pays off in dividends throughout your life by keeping you well and happy. Consider what having friends can do for you.
One of the top benefits of having healthy relationships is that your physical health improves. Having someone to lean on when things get difficult can help ease your stress. Talking things over with a trusted friend can help your mood improve and induce relaxation, which can reduce the risk of a variety of health issues, from heart disease to obesity. Research shows that having close friends also reduces your risk of certain types of cancer, including ovarian and breast cancer. In addition, friends also encourage you to take better care of your own health by helping you make good lifestyle choices, including not smoking, eating healthy and getting enough exercise. Friendships have also been linked to a reduced risk of heart problems, better immunity and a higher sense of control over life.
Another compelling benefit of friendship is a boost to mental health. Stressful situations, like those at work, those that crop up when raising kids or getting divorced and the stress that goes with moving or experiencing a death in the family, can interfere with your mood. Prolonged and chronic stress can lead to depression and even suicidal feelings. When you have a friend to support you during those hard times, it can help prevent those conditions and keep you feeling happy and assist you in working through the stress. Having a group of close friends also offers you a sense of acceptance and belonging that can prevent mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. Friends are also there to give you a boost to your self-confidence and make you feel important and needed. An even mental health status is important to a good quality of life and friends can help you keep it there.
Finally, friends can improve your social health too. As you gain the support a good friend offers, you are more likely to be able to work through anxiety and function in social situations. Your group of friends will become your support network and will stand behind you when life gets tough. That makes it simpler to be in public with or without your friends and will boost your social life and health along the way.
Making friends might not be the easiest thing you’ll ever do, but fostering healthy friendships will pay off during many stages of your life. Being surrounded by people who love you and care about you makes it easier to protect your health and improve your general well-being. The best thing you can do is to get out and meet new people because that’s the top way to start forming lifelong and health protecting relationships that will benefit you for the rest of your life.
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