What are the benefits of friendships?

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What are the benefits of friendships?. PixelsWhat are the benefits of friendships?. Pixels

Good friends are good for your health. Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times. Friends prevent isolation and loneliness and give you a chance to offer needed companionship, too.

Friends also play a significant role in promoting your overall health. Adults with strong social connections have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI).

In fact, studies have found that older adults who have meaningful relationships and social support are likely to live longer than their peers with fewer connections.

Friends Encourage Healthy Behaviors

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. They can also watch out for you and give a heads-up when any unhealthy behaviors get out of hand.

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.

Friends Encourage Healthy Behaviors. Pixels
Friends Encourage Healthy Behaviors. Pixels

Friends Give You Emotional Support

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 study 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.”

Friends Give You Emotional Support. Pixels
Friends Give You Emotional Support. Pixels

Comfort

A best friend is someone you don’t have to fill in the blanks with. They already know all the inner details of your life. “It’s like picking up a book and knowing exactly where you left off,” Belleghem says. You can cut to the chase and get right to the meat of any discussion because all the background information has already been stored away.

Comfort. Pixels
Comfort. Pixels

Connectedness

One of our most basic fears is being alone, Belleghem explains. Whether your best friend is around the corner or in another time zone, just knowing she is there provides comfort. “It gives you a sense of being connected and not just free-floating in space,” she says. So if you find yourself feeling isolated, whether physically or emotionally, pick up the phone and call your closest pal. Both of you will feel better for it.

Connectedness. Pixels
Connectedness. Pixels

Childhood friendship start your learning process

Childhood friendships start your learning process. Pixels
Childhood friendships start your learning process. Pixels

Early friendships play a vital role because they occur while key developmental changes are taking place. They help teach us some of those important life skills but also shape our life “narrative.” Flora advocates for parents and teachers to give kids unstructured time to work out their own social relationships rather than to over-program them into restrictive activities.

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By Aussa

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