Having close friends is an obvious plus but did you know they may help you live longer?
There are many emotional advantages to having strong social relationships with others and scientists have begun diving deeper into their long term effects. Some of the advantages that have been studied are…
- Social integration or sense of belonging
- Opportunity for nurturing behavior
- Reassurance of worth
- Guidance and advice
- Access to new contacts and diverse information
So how does this relate to living longer?
Scientists believe the presence of these advantages in ones life is linked to better physical and psychological health and therefore living longer, opposed to those who have an absence of these advantages.
Scientists believe that advice and access to new social contacts may allow people to obtain better medical care. When you receive advice about medical care and references of where and how to obtain those services you’ll receive better health care, which, in turn, benefits your physical health.
Studies have also shown that people who tend to isolate themselves are less psychologically healthy. Isolation from others causes increased depression, increased risk of mental disorders, and increased rates of suicide.
The behaviors of the people you surround yourself with can also benefit or harm your physical and psychological health. The habits of members in a group tend to cause others in the group to follow the same path in order to maintain group identity. Those who have friends with healthy habits may inspire others within the group to act similarly. On the other hand, people who have friends who smoke, drink excessive amounts of alcohol, are not active, or have poor nutrition may feel pressured to act the same.
Our series Relationships With Others offers 4 classes that focus on creating meaningful relationships through effort and dedication. This program will provide benefits such as increased feelings of happiness, heightened self awareness, decreased stress levels, and greater positivity.
James S. House; Karl R. Landis; Debra Umberson. Science, New Series, Vol. 241, No. 4865 (Jul. 29, 1988), 540-545
Berkman, L F, and S L Syme. “Social Networks, Host Resistance, and Mortality: a Nine-Year Follow-up Study of Alameda County Residents.” American Journal of Epidemiology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 1979