Can friends help you live longer?
Want to live longer? Build strong friendships will increase your lifespan. No matter how old or young you are, friendships can enrich life in many ways. In short, having a good circle of friends helps you live happier, healthier and longer.
What does research say?
Researchers tracked the lives of nearly 1,500 people aged over 70 for 10 years and discovered that those with the strongest network of good friends lived longer when compared those with the fewest close friends.
Can friends and family bring down stress?
You probably knew the answer all along, and it’s yes. Human beings seek out social connections as they make them feel good and wanted. This feeling is caused by endorphins in the brain. These are the body's natural painkillers and are even stronger than morphine. These help to bring down stress and pain.
Do friends influence behavior?
Yes, they do. Friends and family can have a positive effect on behavior and help a person cut down or give up on risky health behavior such as drinking or smoking. They also provide a shoulder to lean on during bad times and may help a person stay away from issues like poor moods, anxiety and depression. In fact, having good friends even helps lower blood pressure.
Other health benefits
Having good friends keeps loneliness at bay. This is very important as loneliness can be toxic. Research has shown that lonely people have shorter lives and tend to be more unhealthy. Good relationships can actually play a protective role in keeping the brain sharper.
What should you do now?
If you have good friendships, cherish them, devote time to them and make them stronger. If you have not yet built a good network of friends, it’s still not too late. Start now.