6 Reasons Why Your Friends are 100% Good for You

Scientific facts

Dec 20, 2013
Special Collections: TIES THAT BIND

Image by Flickr user slalit

Audrey Hepburn once said that, “true friends are families which you can select.” Most of us can remember the first friend we ever made to our most recent buddy - friends play a pivotal role in our healthy development and well-being in every life stage. But did you know that gabbing with your bestie or laughing uncontrollably with your amigos is actually beneficial to your health? Behold - six reasons that your friends are 100% good for you.

1. LIVE LONGER

Positive friendships have an impact on our health and can lead to longevity. A 10- year Australian study found that folks with a solid group of friends were 22% more likely to live longer than those who had fewer close buddies to count on.
CONCLUSION: Keep your friends close and make the time to reach out and get together.

Image by Flickr user Roy Cheung Photography

2. STAY IN SHAPE

If you are looking to keep trim and stick to your exercising goals, then having a close friend can help you achieve that! A study of 1,000 women found that those who work out with friends train longer, burn more calories and go to the gym more regularly.  
CONCLUSION: Coordinate your exercise plan with your friends, and start off the new year with a focus on fitness.

Image by Flickr user myyogaonline

3. PREPARE FOR THE CHALLENGES AHEAD

In a University of Virginia study, students were taken to the base of steep hill with a weighted backpack. Each person was asked to estimate the steepness of the hill. Some students stood alone and others were next to friends. Those who were in the company of friends gave lower estimates of the incline, and the longer the friends had known each other, the less steep the hill appeared.
CONCLUSION: With friends at your side, things don’t look so tough! Buddies can make a seemingly hard task look easy and help us approach challenges with more confidence and poise.

Image by Flickr user jjay69

4. PRESS THE CHILL BUTTON

In many studies, it was found that loneliness increases the production of cortisol, a stress hormone that can lead to high blood pressure and low immune function.
CONCLUSION: When those lonely moments hit, make sure to contact a friend. Surround yourself with people who care about you in order lower your stress levels and start relaxing.

Image by Flickr user Charlotte90T

5. IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH

When sickness strikes, it’s even more imperative to have a strong support system. A study of over 2,000 breast cancer patients in China found that strong friendships and a high quality of life were the most important predictors of both cancer recurrence and survival.
CONCLUSION: Being ill is difficult enough to begin with; make sure to let friends and close ones in during those trying times. If you have a friend who is sick, go the extra mile to be there for them.

Image by Flickr user tranchis

6. DON’T WORRY – BE HAPPY

Happiness is something that most people aspire to, and close social ties have a lot to do with it. A study which followed 5,000 individuals over a period of 20 years found that when one person becomes happy, their friends also reap the joyful benefits. In fact, one person’s happiness triggers a chain reaction of happy - up to three degrees of social connection.
CONCLUSION: When you are having a great day or are in a wonderful mood, be sure to share with your friends and spread happiness all around!

Image by Flickr user Kevin H.

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