8 Scientific Reasons Why You LOVE Your Friends
#ThankGoodNes for friends! 8 benefits of friends that will make you run and hug them.
When a cute puppy video makes you laugh…
When you can’t believe what that guy said to you…
When a new sushi bar just opened…
Who you gonna call?!
All of life’s little experiences are better when you share them with your BFFs! These are the people who listen to your stories, laugh with you, cry with you, and talk some sense into you before you walk out the door wearing an unflattering sweater.
Anyone who is #blessed to have good friends knows what we’re talking about. Life runs smoother when you’ve got someone to count on and vice versa. The benefits of friendship are countless, but did you know there are SCIENTIFIC reasons why? It’s true! Keep reading to see various studies that have shown how having good friends can improve your overall health, both physically and mentally. Basically, we LOVE our friends, and here’s why:
1. Friends help you chill out.
Stress can strike us from anywhere, usually when you’re struggling to deal. Friends are amazing at helping in this area. Just talking to someone can calm you down and help you feel supported. So if your stress levels are starting to rage out of control, text a friend! Chat with a coworker! Call your mom! Find a human who will listen. (#VentSesh!) They can help you see things from a different perspective, and maybe help out with something on your to-do list.
2. They promote self-care.
If you have good friends, good news! According to a study published in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, you’re more likely to have better overall health. It makes sense if you think about it. Friends give us meaning! When someone worries about you, you’re more likely to practice self care. But if you feel like you don’t matter to anyone, that can lead to self-neglect.
3. More endorphins, AKA less pain!
The people you keep in your circle might just be the best pain relief you can find. A study at Oxford University suggests that people with more friends produce a higher level of endorphins. And those endorphins act as natural painkillers. The researchers asked adults to squat against a wall, and found that those with larger social networks could endure the pain for longer. Pretty cool, huh?
4. Friends are good for the heart – literally!
Who knew that having a good group of buddies may actually impact your heart rate? A study conducted in Canada followed new university students over the course of five months. Those who had fewer social interactions had lower heart-rate variability, while those who made more friends over the five months had increased heart rate variability. Basically, if you have low heart rate variability, over time your heart could be at risk. So if you’re in a new environment, get out there and introduce yourself! Meeting new people might be scary, but just think of your heart! #WorthIt
5. Friends keep you living longer.
Friends give you life, literally! Studies show that friendships can impact how long your body keeps ticking. A professor at University College London followed 6,500 people over age 52 for eight years. Those who were most socially isolated were 26% more likely to die during the study period than those with the most active social lives. It’s important to have a community of people you can lean on for support, especially as you age.
6. Friendships can affect your habits.
You and your friends do everything together! Eat. Gossip. Go to concerts. Eat more. All that bonding time means you’re likely going to adopt similar habits. According to The New England Journal of Medicine, the type of friends you have can impact your physical health. So keeping that in mind, remember your lifestyle values and try to spend time with friends who share the same ideals. That way you can support each other! For example, we love when we have friends who are excited to try new restaurants with us but also willing do some some buddy exercise sessions as well.#Balance!
7. Increase your mental acuity
Friendships are exercise for the brain! Just having a conversation or looking at life from another person’s perspective is stimulating your brain! When you don’t have friends to talk to, your brain can remain in isolation, and could lead to lower brain function. Keep your noggin working hard by talking to lots of different people!
8. Friends make you more confident!
Have you ever had a big, impossible-feeling task ahead of you? Good news! If you bring a friend, it might feel a lot more doable. Researchers at the University of Virginia asked students to stand at the bottom of a steep hill, and had them rate how steep it was. Those who stood next to their friends gave the lowest estimates, while those without friends nearby gave the highest estimates. So, when you have friends around, challenges don’t seem as tough!
Friends are treasures. See how much they do for your health? Now, instead of trying to collect more, go be a good friend to someone else! The gift of friendship is priceless.
– The goodNes Crew