Why Friends Are Important
The need for friends is instinctual. Our survival once depended on having close friends to comfort and help us. They helped us hunt and find food, build shelter, and keep our families safe. They also offered companionship. Good friends add a special meaning to life. They help you share the good times and overcome the difficult ones. While strong relationships with friends can be a huge source of fun and pleasure, they are also important for your physical and emotional health. Because of the role friends play in relieving stress, they can help you fight illness, speed recovery, and even prolong life.
Good friends can:
• Improve your mood. Happiness can be infectious. Spending time with happy and positive friends can elevate your mood and boost your outlook.
• Help you to reach your goals. Whether you’re trying to get fit, give up smoking, or otherwise improve your life, encouragement from a friend can really boost your willpower and increase your chances of success.
• Reduce your stress and depression. Having an active social life can bolster your immune system and help reduce isolation, a major contributing factor for depression.
• Support you through tough times. Even if it’s just having someone to share your problems with, friends can help you cope with serious illness, the loss of a job or loved one, the breakup of a relationship, or any other challenge in life.
• Support you as you age. As you age, retirement, illness, and the death of loved ones can often leave you isolated. Having people you can turn to for company and support can provide purpose as you age and be a buffer against depression, disability, hardship, and loss. Staying socially engaged as you age keeps you feeling positive and boosts your happiness.
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