Happy National Make a Friend Day!
In honor of friends both old and new, I want to highlight some of the health benefits that friendship can have on our lives:
- Friends help you manage stress
- By providing emotional support, information, and material aid, friends help you to better deal with the stressors in your life
- Friends encourage you to take better care of yourself
- By volunteering as your gym buddy, or supporting you during your attempt to quit smoking, friends can provide the encouragement needed to initiate and maintain healthy lifestyle changes
- Increase self-esteem
- Increase your feelings of peace and contentment
- By fulfilling the evolutionary need for the social connections that were vital to human survival, social connections give you a sense of security and ease
- Increase lifespan
- The Australian Longitudinal Study of Aging found that seniors who had close friends had increased longevity (friendship was found to be even more important than relationships with adult children and other family members)
So go out today and make a new friend, or at the very least, take time to appreciate the positive impact that your current friends have made on your life and well-being!