Humans are naturally social and usually rely on other people to maintain their emotional and mental health. Some of the best individuals that can give you these much-needed health benefits are your friends. Just like how disability benefits can help those in need, inviting your friends to spend quality time together can positively impact your life in more ways than you know.
Here are the different ways spending time with friends can save your sanity—and improve your health.
Stress can lead to several health problems, including hypertension, headaches, arrhythmia, and confiding in your friends is a great and efficient way of relieving stress. Spending time with your friends reduces your risk of developing these stress-related health problems and unhealthy stress coping mechanisms or outlets, including smoking, drinking alcohol, and binge eating.
When you spend more time with ‘good’ friends, they can encourage positive behaviors, such as exercising and eating healthy, while discouraging negative habits. So, if your best friend likes to go to the gym every day, chances are you may try it with her, or if your roommate tends to make healthy meals often, you’re more than likely going to pick up on that habit. Surrounding yourself with the right people can help you make better choices in life.
People have doubts and insecurities about them, and sometimes they get into a state where it ‘eats’ them up—leading to anxiety or maybe even depression. One thing that can help you with that is being surrounded by the people you love and love you back, helping you feel valued and appreciated. When you spend quality time with your closest peers, it helps create a positive image of yourself, building your self-confidence, and maintaining a healthy amount of self-esteem.
Additionally, your ability to face the challenges of life is significantly improved by strong relationships with friends. Knowing that you belong somewhere, are cared for, and needed gives you a sense of meaning and purpose, motivating you to push forward and grow.
According to a nine-year-long research study, experts have found out that individuals who lack social ties were three times more likely to die during that period than those with strong relationships with their peers. Plus, even if people had a generally unhealthy lifestyle, they’re able to live longer than those without social connection. In essence, spending time with friends can prolong your lifespan.
Improvement of Mental Health
One of the most notable benefits that come with spending time with friends is improving your mental health. Constant social interaction and mental health have been linked together for a long time, showing that frequent in-person contact can reduce one’s risk of developing a mental illness, like depression or anxiety. Remember that though social media and texting are convenient ways of staying connected with peers—it’s no substitution for spending quality time with friends.
There are plenty of health benefits that come with spending time with your friends—and those mentioned are just a few of the most notable ones. Whether you play board games, share a meal, or spend the night out together, spending time and being connected with those closest is essential for your health.