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The Health Benefits of Friendship

By Sara Butler

As the Beatles once said, you get by with a little help from your friends. Now it’s understood that friends do a lot more for you than give you a shoulder to cry on or join you on your many adventures, they also have a positive impact on your health. Here are some of the ways that your friends benefit your well-being and your health.

You’ll Live Longer (and Healthier!)

Studies have found that having social ties, even at an early age, is better for your health. In fact, social relationships are so good for you that they have been found to lower waist circumference, BMI, blood pressure, and inflammation. All of those things are factors in early death and lifespan.

They Keep Your Brain Sharp

It’s been found in older adults that the risk of dementia is tied to feelings of loneliness. It’s also been found that talking with friends about your ideas, fears, and insights help to keep your brain making new connections, no matter how old you are.

Participating in leisure activities and hobbies also helps to keep your brain moving right along. These activities have been associated with a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. That’s probably because in a social setting, actions that help to promote new connections and build up existing brain cells occur. Being social is good for you!

They Offer Mental Support

Life can be really hard sometimes and friends are there for you. They help you to cope with the bad things and celebrate the good ones. When you have good friends in your life, they can help you adopt healthier lifestyle habits and make you feel less lonely. They help you feel happy and can even reduce your stress level! Remember, chronic stress is associated with shorter life spans, so schedule time to be with the people in your life who make you happy and help you feel connected.

How to Make New Friends

When you’re little, it seems as if making friends is as easy as breathing. It gets much harder as you get older. So, how do you overcome that? Consider taking a class, joining a gym, or volunteer in order to meet new people. You never know who you’ll meet and the connections you can make when you surround yourself with people interested in the same things as you.

Investing in your relationships is really an investment in your own health and wellness, so do what you can to nurture the relationship you have and to make new ones!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Jacksonville, Fla.

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