Are Your Friends a True Predictor of Your Well-being and Health?

Friends Health

Friends often contribute significantly to one’s life choices and decisions. A good friend can make dealing with difficulties easier whereas a bad friend can create difficulties in one’s life. Following are some of the ways our friends affect our health.

1. Friendships develop belongingness in an individual.

According to Mahzad Hojjat, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth who has led studies on friendships, the benefits of close relationships, and marriage, simply feeling included that is, feeling like belonging to a group of people be it batch mates or colleagues can be greatly helpful. According to a study made in 2015 on Psychiatry, the feeling of belongingness satisfies the emotional health requirements and assists in reducing feelings of hopelessness, misery and despair.

2. Friends Can Assist in Increasing Self-Esteem

Friends Health

Friends can help you gain self-esteem and confidence. Your cheerleader is a terrific friend. Dr. Hojjat explains that one craves to get buddies who get thrilled and excited for you and your accomplishments.

According to a research that was made in 2015 on PLoS One, belongingness in a group is effectively associated with higher self-esteem levels in an individual and is reflected with the pride and confidence they achieve with these interactions.

3. Friendships and social attachments can break the stress bubble

Dr. Hojjat suggests that friendship ties can go a long way in helping cope up with stress. Friends help overcome difficulties and daily stresses preventing depending upon other addictive substances. She also claims that sharing details about terrible incidents with friends can assist in reducing stress levels. Physical contact can also make a difference. Receiving a hug eased negative feelings including tension, according to a study published in PLoS One in October 2018. Harding argues that “positive and welcome physical touch is great for connection and wellness.” Of course, the pandemic has complicated matters. “Skin hunger, or contact starvation, is a real thing,” Harding explains, emphasizing the importance of increasing emotional intimacy during the pandemic.

4. Friendship is like a symbiotic relationship which benefits mental health positively.

Friends Health

In accordance with the research that involves studies on senior women, a wide and active social circle prevents and delays occurrence of dementia, although no conclusion or reasoning is given.

Another study published in August 2021 in JAMA Network Open discovered that having friends with whom to conduct nice discussions could help protect mental health. The findings revealed that people who reported having someone in their lives they could count on as a good listener were more likely to have greater levels of cognitive resilience in a cohort of 2,171 adults who took part in the Framingham Heart Study (a measure of brain health known to be protective against brain aging and disease, like dementia).

5. Healthy Habits Can Be Encouraged by Friends

When was the last time you joined a gym and went regularly without requiring anyone to motivate you? Having friends with healthy habits automatically inspire you to make healthy choices and thus improves your health.

If they’re worried about you, they can also speak up. “If you’re drinking too much or gaining too much weight, friends are the ones who see it because they see you and interact with you every day,” Hojjat adds.

Experts and professionals from University of California of Los Angeles believe that relationships and social ties have a direct influence on the mental and physical health due to body’s lowered stress response.

Isolation, depression and loneliness often leads to chronic stress levels in body, which then has a detrimental influence on overall health but this can be checked by building great friendships.

No matter, whether you’re an introvert, ambivert or extrovert. Friends are an absolute necessity and play an important role in maintaining a good mental health. Choosing of friends must be done wisely as it can impact the mindset. Do check out our other articles and do not forget to share this one with all your friends!

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