Why Friends Improve Your Life and Well-Being

From improving your mood to increasing your life span, friends are an important aspect of keeping you healthy and happy. You know your friends are there for you when you need them, but did you know they’re actually good for your well-being?

Friends Make you Laugh

Ever wonder why you feel so much better after a good laugh with a friend? The phrase “laughter is good medicine” is around for a reason! Laughing is known to ward off depression and boost your mood. It can also improve blood flow and decrease your stress levels. Next time you’re feeling down, call up a friend to put a smile on your face and put the bounce back in your step.

Workout Partners

Research has shown that you are more likely to stick with a workout routine if you grab a partner to do it with you. A buddy system makes it harder to bail on that early morning spin class if you know your friend is counting on you to be there. Sign up for a weekly workout class or plan Saturday morning walks together. You’ll both go if you know the other one is waiting for you, and having the company will make it more enjoyable and effective.

More Friends, More Life

When you have a large network of friends, it can increase your lifespan. A Center for Ageing Studies at Flinders University in Australia followed nearly 1,500 older people for 10 years. It found that those who had a large network of friends outlived those with fewer friends by 22%. This proves that companionship is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle.

Friends Help Friends Cope

Having a shoulder to lean on during a traumatic life event can help you get through it. Friends can offer support when you’re going through a divorce, family death or dealing with an emotional rough patch. They can also help relieve you from daily activities such as cooking and cleaning to give you less to worry about.

Friends Help with Problems

Having a problem at work? A friend can guide you through some solutions from an outside point of view. Going through a family issue? Your friend might have been in the same situation and can offer eye-opening insight.

Friends can be objective to the problems you’re facing. With the emotional support they provide, they help you deal with stress that effect your mood, weight and even other relationships.

Improve Self Confidence and Esteem

Want to check out that new workout class but are too afraid to go by yourself? Bringing a friend with you will help boost your self-esteem and put you more at ease in a new environment. It’s easier to try something new when you have someone by your side. So go ahead, try that Zumba class or give that cooking class a go: you could start a great new routine to keep you active and healthy.

Help Cognition

According to research in the American Journal of Public Health, older women had a 43% less risk of developing dementia if they had daily contact with their friends, as opposed to those who had contact less than once a week. The social interaction may have helped discourage cognitive decline by forming new synaptic connections.

Friends Offer Support

When you have a goal in mind, friends can serve as a great support network to help you reach it. That smoking habit will be so much easier to quit when you have a friend reminding you why you’re quitting in the first place! The support also helps when you’re trying to adopt a new healthy habit.

Read more to find out just how friendships are in your health and well-being.

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