Having good friends brings health benefits.
Several studies and research have found that having friends has mental and physical health benefits. Having friends helps you have a happy life.
According to an article published by the health services portal, Annie's Place, friendship brings physical and mental benefits. The article mentions a Harvard study, where the importance of maintaining good living habits and having friends was determined.
Having Friends Is Good for Physical and Mental Health
Friendship helps maintain mental health by being a balance factor and helping to change negative aspects of personality. Spending time with friends, according to this study, allows to be more positive and helps to cope better with difficulties.
In an article published on the portal of the Mayo Clinic, it is noted that friendship also influences good health. This is more evident in adults, who, by having friends, manage to eliminate health problems. High blood pressure and excess weight are some of the aspects that are improved by having friends.
As it indicates in the article, the studies that have been realized could have established a relation between being sociable and living for much time. People who have few or no friends can live less and have more health problems.
Friendship and Mental Health
The digital journal of health and wellness, Webconsultas, shows the results of different studies carried out on friendship and mental health.
Reduces Stress and Helps To Have a Positive Attitude
According to a study conducted by Concordia University in Canada, sharing with friends helps produce oxytocin. This hormone causes a feeling of well-being and reduces stress.
Other studies were published in APA PsycNET and are mentioned in Webconsultas. These investigations determined that being with friends in difficult situations causes an increase in the production of cortisol.
Cortisol and oxytocin are hormones that help you cope with stress and have a positive attitude when facing a problem.
Decreases Symptoms Caused by Depression
A study from the University of Queensland in Australia showed that when we have friends who are compatible with our personality, we reduce symptoms of depression and self-esteem increases.
Reduced Risk of Dementia and Improved Mental Health
A University of Queensland study showed that mental health improves by having friends. Also, research published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society found that older people who are sociable reduce the risk of developing senile dementia by 70%.
Helps To Have a Better Attitude at Work
When you have good relationships with co-workers, there is motivation and willingness to work. The Webconsulta page mentions that a study published in Personality and Social Psychology states that when you have friends in the workplace, performance increases.
Physical Benefits of Friendship
In the same article by Webconsulta, the benefits of friendship for the human body are mentioned: when lasting friendship relationships are established, the probability of living longer is increased by 50%, according to a study on friendship and longevity published in PLoS Medicine. This study mentions that having no friends increases the chances of dying by a similar percentage as a person who smokes more than 15 cigarettes a day.
Helps You Have a Faster Recovery From Disease
Sick people who have the support of friends manage to recover faster from some diseases. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology mentions that women without friends are more than 66% likely to die, and the risk of breast cancer increases twice as high.
The Sensation of Pain Is Less
When we are with friends it increases well-being and decreases the feeling of pain. This is due to the increase in opioid receptors, dopamine, and endorphins, according to the results of a study published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Reduced Risk of Respiratory Infections
According to a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association and mentioned in Webconsulta's article, an active social life decreases the risk of respiratory infections. To share with the friends helps to that the organism increases its immune capacity and therefore it improves the protection from infections.
Strengthens Cardiovascular Health
A study by Duke University in the United States concludes that having friends helps control blood pressure and improves heart health. The study lasted five years and found that 50% of adults who died of cardiovascular problems did not have close friends, and 85% who survived had good friends.
Helps Prevent Obesity by Maintaining the Ideal Body Mass Index
Having friends who exercise and eat healthily motivates people to imitate the same habits. This causes the body mass index to remain within the ideal ranges. This prevents obesity and other problems related to poor eating, such as anorexia.
Having a social life is fundamental to feeling good. The emotional, physical, and mental advantages of having friends are many. Whether you're a woman or a man, friends are always going to have a positive influence on every aspect of life.