Friendship is not all about having someone to talk to or just for the fun of it. Yes… the fun part dominates, but there is also another very important value of friendship which supersedes the fun and that involves your health.
According to scientists, having a friend who is trustworthy might just be all the doctor you need due to the effect it has on your health. The health benefits of friendship include…
Close relationships provide meaning and support that research has shown can help ward off depressive thoughts and behaviours, and help you recover more quickly if you do succumb. What’s at stake? Depression’s effects are not just mental: it’s been implicated in everything from heart disease to chronic pain.
Friendship also helps relieve stress. When things get crazy, you might feel far too busy to schedule that brunch. But when you’re slammed, that’s actually when you need your friends the most: the laughter, distraction, and catharsis that they can provide are among the best medicine there is. And they work wonders for bringing down your blood pressure, clearing your mind, and helping you sleep better.
Keep you in check
Not only are your friend’s role models, but they also serve as fire alarms to alert you to problems with your current health. One of our friends’ most important roles is to help us know–and intervene–when we slip into patterns that aren’t good for us.
In an ideal world, none of us would ever experience something horrific. But trauma happens somewhere, every day of the year: from assaults to car accidents to natural disasters. Amazingly, social support can make a big difference in helping someone recover. In fact, the more solid your friendships are, the smoother your recovery–and the less likely you are to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a potentially debilitating condition.