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Develop and improve products. List of Partners vendors. Friendships can enrich your life in many ways. Good friends teach you about yourself and challenge you to be better.
They encourage you to keep going when times get tough and celebrate your successes with you. But friends do a lot more than give you a shoulder to cry on; they also have a positive impact on your health. Some research even says friendships are just as important to your well-being as eating right and exercising.
So how do friendships contribute to your well-being? It turns out that healthy relationships actually contribute to good physical health. Having a close circle of friends can decrease your risk of health problems like diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. Having strong social ties can also decrease feelings of loneliness, which evidence shows can take a toll on your longevity.
According to a review, people with strong relationships have half the risk of premature death from all causes. Social isolation and loneliness are linked to a variety of health issues such as high blood pressure, substance abuseheart disease, and even cancer. One possible explanation for those health benefits is that friendships can help you make lifestyle changes that can have a direct impact on your well-being.
For example, your friends can help you set and maintain goals to eat better and exercise more. Additionally, people are more motivated and likely to stick to a weight loss or exercise program when they do it with a buddy.
It's much easier to get out and stay active when you have a friend by your side. That friend may also suggest activities that you would not have considered on your own—thus, pushing you outside your comfort zone to challenge your anxiety. If you find yourself going through a hard time, having a friend to help you through can make the transition easier. Research also shows that happiness is contagious among friends. One Does anyone need a friend of high school students found that those who were depressed were twice as likely to recover if they had happy friends.
Likewise, kids were half as likely to develop depression if their friends had a "healthy mood. Everyone has self-doubts and insecurities every now and then. But having friends who support you plays a big role in building your self-esteemor how much you appreciate and love yourself. Supportive friends can help you feel more confident by offering praise and reassurance when you're feeling unsure. They'll shine a light on just how amazing you are and how much you have to offer others.
Everyone goes through stressful events.
If you know you have people you can count on, you may be less likely to even perceive a tough time as stressful. Spending time with friends can also help reduce stress. According to Harvard Medical School, "social connections help relieve levels of stress, which can harm the heart's arteries, gut function, insulin regulation, and the immune system. Friends can also help you cope with stressful situations.
According to one small study, when children hang out with their friends during a stressful situation, they produce less cortisol, a hormone released when the body is under stress. A lack of friends can leave you feeling lonely and without support, which makes you vulnerable to other problems such as depression and substance abuse. Friends can also provide a positive influence. If you make friends with people who are generous with their time, help others, or are ambitious or family-oriented, you are more likely to develop those values yourself.
Great friends have the power to mold you into the best version of yourself. They see you and love you for who you truly are. They encourage you and push you to do better and be the person you want to be—your "ideal self. Learn the best ways to manage stress and negativity in your life. Social relationships and physiological determinants of longevity across the human life span.
Social relationships and mortality risk: A meta-analytic review. PLoS Med. Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for mortality: A meta-analytic review. Perspect Psychol Sci. Influence in relationships: A meta-analysis on health-related social control.
Basic Appl Soc Psych. Spreading of healthy mood in adolescent social networks. Proc Biol Sci. Harvard Medical School. The health benefits of strong relationships. Updated August 6, The presence of a best friend buffers the effects of negative experiences.
Dev Psychol. Shadur J, Hussong A. Friendship intimacy, close friend drug use, and self-medication in adolescence. J Soc Pers Relat. Peer positive social control and men's health-promoting behaviors. Am J Mens Health. Your Privacy Rights. To change or withdraw your consent choices for VerywellMind. At any time, you can update your settings through the "EU Privacy" link at the bottom of any. These choices will be aled globally to our partners and will not affect browsing data. We and our partners process data to: Actively scan device characteristics for identification.
I Accept Show Purposes. Was this helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Up. What are your concerns? Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Related Articles. The Health Consequences of Loneliness. How to End a Stressful Relationship Successfully. Tips for Using Words of Affirmation in the Workplace.Does anyone need a friend
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