5 Reasons to Nurture Friendships

Whatever age you are, your friends are an important element in your life. Here are five compelling reasons to keep old friendships alive while making new ones. 

Stress Levels Drop

We all know that loneliness makes us unhappy, but research suggests it can be a killer, too. A 2006 study found lonely people reacted more intensely to life’s challenges. For some people, that led to elevated levels of the stress hormone epinephrine, which can result in high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes over time.

You may Lose Weight

Health habits can be contagious among friends, so lead the way. US researchers who analysed the social ties of more than 12,000 people found clusters of obese people and clusters of thin people, suggesting that friends have a strong influence on each other’s weight.

You may Live Longer

Reach out to friends with health problems – they may find it tough to ask for your support. According to researchers in the US who looked at 500 women with symptoms of coronary artery disease, those with few personal contacts in their day-to- day life were twice as likely to die over the following two to four years as those who had more friends.

Your Love Life Might Improve

Friendships give you the opportunity to hone your relationships skills, which, research suggests, can help pave the way for stronger intimate relationships. Studies indicate that people who lack close relationships are more prone to depression, alcohol and drug abuse.

You’ll Stay Active

Children who are good at sports tend to be happier with their friendships, and researchers say the same applies to adults. Bolster your friendships by exercising with pals.

   

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