8 Reasons Why Friendships Are So Important
Multiple studies have proven that having close friends is good for your health and well-being. Here are eight reasons why making and keeping friends is so beneficial.
- Friends make you—and others—happy. Happiness is contagious! A heart study demonstrated that people have a tendency to gather into happy or unhappy groups, and happiness appears to spread to those immediately inside the group and to people outside the group as well.
- Friends help boost your immune system. Being socially active produces positive emotions, which may boost your body's immune system and reduce stress.
- Good friends are great listeners. Sometimes, you just want to get something off your chest. Who better to rant and rave to than a friend? Good friends listen but don't judge.
- Friends are honest. Being a good friend means that you are supportive, but also honest. Hard as it may be, friends can help you face the truth.
- Friends help you cope with grief. People who receive support from friends or family after a personal loss are better able to cope with their grief. The most effective forms of support are often the simplest: listening, offering sympathy and encouragement, and just being physically present. In contrast, feeling alone tends to worsen grief.
- Friends help you meet your fitness goals. Friends provide the encouragement and support you need to achieve your fitness goals, such as losing weight, quitting smoking, or eating a healthier diet.
- Friends give you self-confidence. We may doubt our decisions and abilities. Good friends stand by you and help you believe in yourself.
- Friends help you age more gracefully. A survey of people over age 60 shows that those who have close, healthy relationships with family and friends are more content as they grow older.
Spending time with friends is fun; it may also produce long-term physical and emotional health benefits. So keep your friends and make new ones. You can never have too many.