5 Reasons Why Friends Are Key to Mental and Physical Health
- Author Amaya Oswald
- Published December 20, 2022
- Word count 450
You might assume that friends are important for our mental health, but you may not know the extent to which healthy relationships affect our physical health and ultimately, our quality of life. Science shows you don’t even need a large social network to receive the health benefits of being sociable. In fact, some studies have shown that having a few strong friendships is more important than having a large number of social connections. If you want to learn more about the science-backed reasons why friends are key to mental and physical health, keep reading.
- Friends Can Reduce Stress
It is scientifically proven that sociability reduces stress by creating a sense of community. Similarly, depression has been linked to loneliness in many studies. In fact, one study conducted during the pandemic when most people were isolated found that 3 in 5 Americans felt alone. In Crystal Raypole’s article, 6 Ways Friendship Is Good for Your Health, she notes that having friends you can confide it is what makes the biggest difference in mental health. For example, more casual coffee dates are less beneficial than having deeper conversations with close friends.
- Friends Help You Improve Self Confidence
Self-esteem is greatly affected by how lonely you feel, according to Keefe et al. In this way, having friends is really important in order to keep healthy perceptions of ourselves and improve cognitive health.
- Friends Might Help You Not Get Sick
Science shows that our immunity to germs may be strengthened when we are more sociable. In this way, lack of socialization is linked to susceptibility to common germs. Researchers have speculated that a lack of interaction with others causes people who socialize less to not be exposed to as many germs. This causes less sociable people to have a weaker immune system.
- Friends Make You Richer
Sociability may also have a major impact on financial success. Studies show that people who have better social skills may be more financially successful. While having more money doesn’t guarantee friends, people who have more social connections might have access to a wider variety of ways to generate income.
- Friends Can Make You Live Longer
Social competence is linked to people living longer lives. In addition, some researchers have suggested that social isolation is as dangerous as smoking. For example, a CNN review of 148 studies on the topic found that social isolation is associated with premature death. So, next time you are spending time with a friend instead of doing work or being productive, remember that keeping up a social life is pretty important.
Undeniably, friends are key to mental and physical health. Let us know – do you believe you have experienced these positive impacts of being sociable?
Written by Amaya Oswald for Spinnr
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