Written by: Kyle Vassar, CFW Health and Fitness Specialist
My friends and family are there to pick me up when I’m feeling down and they are there to celebrate my greatest achievements. They can serve as confidantes whom with I share my deepest feelings or just people I can joke around with when work has me feeling tightly wound. It is important to develop positive relationships with people you spend time with. Aside from keeping us from feeling lonely, spending time with good friends makes us healthier.
Making lasting, meaningful connections with people has health benefits across the board. In fact, there is a scientific link between social connections and the effects on our mental, physical, and emotional health. Studies show that individuals living a primarily isolated life have a higher mortality rate. That’s the physical. Another study concluded that people with heart disease who are not socially connected are over two times as likely to have a fatal cardiac incident than their socially connected counterparts. Our social lives are more important than we know!
Spending time with supportive friends reduces stress which puts us in a better mental state. We can handle stress better and control our fight or flight response. Our immune, cardiovascular and endocrine systems appreciate the break and can function smoothly. This means we are all-around happier and healthier individuals by having close friends.
Since our social connections impact our health, it is important that we nurture these relationships. So, be there for your friends. Make the time for you and them. Give each other silly nicknames or whatever makes you smile. Invite them all to a party and toast to a long, happy life, because you’re all in it together.