4 Ways Close Friendships Can Improve Your Overall Health


As far as essential investments in your health go, maintaining close, healthy relationships should be rated in the top three; right up there with exercising every day and making healthy food choices. Of course, spending time with your friends is fun but did you know that those close friendships also come with several benefits to your overall emotional and physical health? 

Before we jump into just a few of the ways that having friends is physically good for you, it is necessary to mention that not all friendships are created equal. In the same way that you can make poor dietary choices and unhealthy lifestyle choices, the same is possible when it comes to the people you spend your time with. Keep reading to learn 4 ways close friendships can improve your overall health. 


4 Ways That Having Close Friendships Can Improve Your Overall Health

So, how do we even know that friendships and other social connections are good for us? Science has proven it!  Some of the top findings in this field of research include:

Friendships Nurture a Feeling of Belonging

It doesn’t matter what common ties you share with your friends, the feeling you get from being included, from feeling like you belong, is the part that is beneficial. According to a University of Massachusetts psychology professor who has performed research on the advantages of intimate relationships, friendships, and marriage, feeling like you belong meets a vital emotional health need. It also helps to reduce feelings of hopelessness and depression, hopelessness, and sorrow, according to research published in Psychiatry in 2015.

Having Close Friends Increases Your Self-Esteem

Good friends are able to raise your feeling of self-worth as well as your self-confidence. Your closest friends are your champions, defenders, and supporters. They are happy for you when you succeed.  

According to one recently-published study, being an integral part of a social group is closely tied to feelings of greater self-esteem. This is because we take pride in our friendships and the groups we belong to. We also derive value and meaning from them. 

Strong Social Ties Help You Handle Stress Better 

Friendship also does more than its fair share in terms of helping us deal with stress and anxiety. Everyone goes through troubled times in their life and solid friendships help us navigate those situations in a healthy and positive way. A good example of this is venting to a friend after a particularly bad day. It alleviates a portion of your stress and you feel better almost immediately.  

Physical touch also makes a huge difference. In October 2018, a study was published that reported something as simple as a hug from a friend quantifiably lowered negative emotions such as stress. Conversely, people who shy away from social settings or physical touch had much higher rates of depression and general anxiety disorders. 

Close Friendships Make People Happier

Another published study found that whether or not a person belonged to a strong social group, as measured by participants’ phone activity, was a far better indicator of general happiness and overall wellness than the most up-to-date fitness tracker data.  

The research states that having close friendships with people who are generally happy and live near you provides the most benefits to your health. A research group made up of over 4,000 adults revealed that having a happy, good-natured friend who lives less than a mile away boosts your own chances of being happy by about 25%. 


See Also: 5 Reasons Why Friends are Key to Mental and Physical Health

1 thought on “4 Ways Close Friendships Can Improve Your Overall Health

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>