7 Benefits That Friends Offer Us According To Science

7 benefits that friends offer us according to science

Friends are one of the great pillars of our life. Those lucky enough to have them know this well. Being able to count on someone who loves you and that this person can count on us reduces problems and gives emotion and intensity to your life. However, it doesn’t stop there. Science has shown that this brings other important benefits.

Good friends don’t have to be perfect or ready to meet all of our needs. It is enough that they accept us, that they are interested in what is happening to us and that they are willing to listen to us. Friendship is a simple and profound gift at the same time.

Several studies have shown that having good friends improves overall health  both physically and mentally. So that you can get to know them in more detail, below we talk about 7 benefits that are offered to us by our friends.

1. Friends help reduce stress

Stress has numerous origins. However, one of its most frequent causes is the difficulty of adequately avoiding daily tensions. It occurs when there is a tension between reality, as it is, and the resources we have to accept it and adapt to it.

Friends help us to reduce this tension. Just having a space for selfless communication reduces stress. The feeling of support that friends offer us reduces the anguish. For this reason, it helps us to control stress and, with it, many of its consequences.

2. They help improve overall health

According to research published in the  Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , those with good friends enjoy better health. It is surprising to us when we consider that friendship improves the quality of life.

When we can rely on someone who genuinely cares about us, we take better care of ourselves. Conversely, the feeling of loneliness usually coincides with abandonment. If you feel that you are not important to anyone, it will be more difficult for you to take care of yourself and this will end up affecting your health.

3. Those with friends feel less pain 

The journal  Psychosomatic Medicine  reports a study on the relationship between physical pain and affection. It has been possible to verify that those who are surrounded by affectionate people perceive pain less intensely.

The same happens in the opposite case. More isolated people tend to experience physical pain more intensely. It must be remembered that physical pain always brings with it emotional suffering. However, those with friends also enjoy a better mood and this reduces physical pain.

4. Strengthen the heart

A study conducted by the University of Duke (United States) has presented evidence that those with strong bonds of friendship enjoy better cardiovascular health. In fact, friendship is compared to physical activity in this research. Both are positive for heart health.

To carry out this study, we relied on a group of 1,000 people, all suffering from cardiovascular disease. Within five years, half of those who had almost no friends had passed away, while 85% of those who enjoyed healthy friendships had seen their conditions improve.

5. They extend our life

In 2010 a group of researchers from the United Kingdom carried out a summary of 148 studies on the relationship between emotional bonds and mortality. They wanted to demonstrate the validity of the various researches in this regard. In total, their analysis involved three thousand people.

The results were clear. A clear relationship between loneliness and death was indicated in all the studies carried out up to that point. It was evident that those who had several friends lived more. Friendship, therefore, has indisputable effects on this aspect.

6. They help prevent obesity

While it sounds unbelievable, science has not yet been able to fully explain what leads to obesity. Although it is known that genetic, metabolic and psychological factors are involved, the definitive causes have not yet been established. In fact, some theories hold that weight gain is a form of defense. It increases when a person feels vulnerable.

Research published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine tries to shed some light on this point. It indicates that  friendship is a very high emotional compensation factor, on a par with food. Those with friends do not tend to eat compulsively.

7. Promote mental acuity 

Human interaction is a factor that stimulates the brain. The mere fact of holding a conversation or thinking about a reality other than one’s own dynamizes brain activity. On the other hand, those who remain isolated tend to lose their cognitive abilities.

In the case of people with some mental illness, the picture is more critical. In fact, one of the detonators of the same is precisely the isolation and one of the factors that most contributes to healing is friendship.

Finding a friend is finding a treasure, there is no doubt. More than “collecting” friends, our main goal must be to learn to be good friends. The rest comes by itself. The benefits are immense, as we have seen. However, on top of that, friends bring us an additional dose of sweetness by being the best antidote to bitterness.

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