If you haven’t expressed your love and gratitude to your best friends in a while, you’ll surely want to after reading this. As it turns out, you’re actually getting tons of health benefits just by having someone to fall back on.
Your best friend knows exactly how to make you laugh and offer you a back to lean on in tough times, but the strength and support you get from positive friendships is essential to maintain prime health.
And this is how:
More Laughter Equals More Happiness
Only the closest of friends know how to make you laugh. Not only does laughter increase oxygen levels but, it also stimulates the lungs, heart, muscles, and endorphins. Laughter helps lower blood pressure and heart rate, making it an excellent stress and tension antidote. Long-term studies indicate that people who laugh more complain about pain less frequently, maintain better moods and personal satisfaction, as well as a better immune system.
Women Have a Calming Effect on Other Women
As it turns out, there’s a scientific reason behind your feeling light after catching up with a girlfriend. According to Healthline, during times of stress, women release adrenaline, which is a biological trigger that makes them want to not only protect their kids but, also to connect with other women and develop deeper friendships.
Studies also indicate that getting together with friends supports the production of the happy hormone, serotonin. Turning to friends for support and protection even triggers the release of oxytocin, which helps us feel safer and calmer.
Social Connections Lead to Longer Lives
According to the Mayo Clinic, adults with a close friend circle indicate a decreased risk of unhealthy BMI, high blood pressure, depression, and are likelier to live longer. These causes are attributed to the encouragement you get from friends to be healthier and to give up unhealthy habits such as smoking or alcoholism.
Come the weekend, if you’re stuck between wanting to binge on FRIENDS again or catching up with a friend, know that the latter actually has rewarding benefits.
Friends just keep you happy. They help boost your self-worth and self-confidence, increase your sense of purpose and belonging, prevent feelings of loneliness, and even help you cope with traumas.
If you’re like most people, the recent pandemic especially highlighted the importance of having friends around. Appreciate them while you have the chance. They’re doing more for you than you give them credit for.