Friends add so many wonderful things to our lives, but there is another huge reason we should keep them close. Research shows that quality relationships (meaning positive, helpful, valuable friendships) and social connections positively affect your health. Read on for 5 ways positive relationships benefit your health.
- Reduced Stress
Harvard researchers discovered that positive social connections can help relieve the stress that has negative effects on your body, harming your immune system and resulting in weight gain. Your friends play a role in relieving your stress by keeping a smile on your face.
- Increased Happiness
All this laughter has to have a positive effect. If you have quality friendships that keep you from loneliness and boredom, you’re more motivated to accomplish your fitness goals.
- Positive, Healthy Habits
You know what they say: you are who you hang out with. A 30-year study on the connection between obesity and social networks found that it’s especially true when it comes to fitness habits. While they found that obesity spreads throughout social networks, the opposite is also true, meaning healthy habits can spread through your friendships. This is why we have accountability partners, right?
- Social Support
You know who to go to when you need some encouragement. Caring actions, like giving a hug, sharing advice, and offering support have a positive effect on your mood, behavior, and how you feel about yourself. Confidence breeds productivity, and knowing you have the support of your friends boosts it even more.
- Longer Life
We all know eating healthy foods and exercising regularly are all important for longevity in life, but according to an Australian study you can now add quality relationships to that list. Their findings showed enhanced survival times for participants with strong social connections. Pretty much, if you have positive friendships, you have a good chance of living a longer life.
So next time you’re with your friends, don’t forget to thank them for helping you live a longer, happier, and healthier life!