Health Benefits of Having Great Friends

If on your computer you right click on the photo, or simply tap the photo if on a mobile device, you can save to your device and then share with your best friends to celebrate Best Friends Day, June 8th, 2014.


After reading numerous reports recently, I feel ever more blessed that I have such special circles of great friends.  The reports that I have been reading share several health benefits of having strong circles of friendships, with these 5 continuing to surface to the top:

1.  An Outlet for Positive Stress Management 

2.  Encouragement for Healthy Behaviors

3.  Lowering the Risk for Dementia

4.  Quicker Recovery After Illness

5.  Longer Life!

Having great friends encourages better health because:  

1.  We have someone to share our cares and concern with, which helps us to release any high levels of stress.  Lowering stress levels reduces anxiety and depression; as stress levels come down, so does the inflammation in the body which studies have shown reduces cardiovascular disease.  Yay for good friends!

2.  Great friends encourage us to be the best we can be encouraging us to reach positive goals and stand with us to achieve those goals.  The best of friends will walk alongside us to achieve healthy lifestyle habits!

3.  Getting together with great friends lowers the risk of dementia because it keeps our minds alert in conversations and mentally stimulated to have areas of interest in our lives.   (My husband should be thrilled that I have great friends, he often thinks I am losing my mind!)

4.  Reports also show that having great friends aids in quicker recoveries after surgeries.  Friends, whether they live near or far, help by conversations of encouragement to lift spirits, and laughter which helps create positive physiological changes and an overall sense of well being.

5.  Finally, studies show that great friends contribute to living longer lives.  In Australia a study was done on almost 1500 seniors for 10 years which found that great friends increased longevity, with those who had large amounts of great friends outliving those without, by 22 percent.

I have always valued my friends, but being aware of these reports makes me want to be more cognizant of how special friendships can be.  

It also makes me want to be a better friend, to bring these same health benefits to others.  If you feel the same, here are 6 tidbits, God placed on my heart in my prayer time, on how to be a better friend.

Friendship Journal

LAUGHTER - this does not mean you need to be a comedian, just someone who brings out a sense of well being in others - No whining, little negativity

THERAPY - be a place where your friends can release their burdens

SAFETY - be a place where your friends feel safe, no judging, no backstabbing, no pain

LOVE - be patient, kind, forgiving - don't boast, be proud, hurt or envy  

ACCEPTANCE -  don't keep a long list of record of wrongs 

JOY - be a sweet aroma, so when your friends leave your presence, they are better off than when they first saw you

The moral of the story is eating fruits and vegetables can be good for your health, but so can having and cultivating great friendships!  The body is not just physical, it is emotional and spirit as well.




Click here for a fun video on having great friendships and becoming a great friend.

© margaret young