Do you consider your friends your family? They deserve this honor. Your friends can do a lot to help keep you young and healthy.
Friendships inspire you to continue growing mentally and emotionally. They get you moving and help you connect with others in your community. Read on to discover seven fantastic health benefits of fostering strong relationships.
1. They Provide Support When You’re Down
When you’ve had a terrible day, your friends come to your rescue. They offer a shoulder to cry on and caring advice. They listen to you vent and help you process your emotions surrounding tragic events in a healthy way.
Friends aren’t only there in the bad times, however. Did you get a promotion at work? They’ll show up on your doorstep with a bottle of wine and your favorite flicks so you can celebrate with an adult sleepover.
2. They Inspire You to Get Active
Working out with a friend helps you commit to fit. Whether you hit the pool for a swim or visit the community fitness center, knowing someone awaits you makes it harder to give in to the urge to stay home and veg.
Even taking a walk proves more pleasant with someone to talk to. The next time you feel a bit blue, phone a friend and meet at a nearby park. The fresh air and exercise will boost your mood, as will the camaraderie.
3. They Keep Your Brain Active
Do you adore losing yourself in scintillating conversations? As lively as your personality may be, it gets lonely speaking to yourself all the time. Friendships offer insights and new ways of looking at the world. No matter how alike you and your best friend are, you’ll have some differences. Lift some mental barbells by confronting different worldviews and expanding your mind.
4. They Improve Your Social Skills
As you age, you tend to lose people you love. This can lead to isolation and loneliness. Social skills are like muscles — the less you use them, the weaker they become.
Skip the self-checkout and strike up a conversation with the cashier at your local grocers. Attending your grandchild’s soccer match? Introduce yourself to others in the audience. You immediately have something to discuss — how brilliant and talented the little ones are.
5. They Get You Involved in Your Community
If you struggle to make friends, consider signing up for volunteer opportunities in your community. If you’re internet-savvy, hop online and seek causes you support. When you’re engaged in mutual acts of loving-kindness, forming bonds with others becomes easier.
Do you prefer to stay off the world wide web? If you belong to a church, ask your religious leader what you can do to help. Otherwise, contact your local chamber of commerce. They can typically refer you to soup kitchens and highway cleanups needing help.
6. They Help You Live Longer
Did you know that loneliness can lead to premature death? Researchers discovered that in individuals 60 and older, those who answered they sometimes or often felt lonely experienced functional decline. 22% of those who reported this emotion passed away earlier, versus only 14% of those who rarely experienced such feelings.
You don’t have to look far to find proof of this. Make a visit to your local senior community — research has shown over time that seniors living in these communities establish strong friendships and tend to live happier and longer lives as a result.
7. They Give You a Sense of Purpose
Finally, friends give your life purpose and meaning. When you live for something bigger than yourself, it answers the “why am I here?” question. Even meeting a friend for coffee or lunch gives you a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
Friendships Keep You Young in Body and Mind
There are so many reasons to cherish the special friends in your life. Even if you may not feel like it for any number of reasons, take the time to phone a pal today. Your body and mind will thank you!