Can Your Best Friend Benefit Your Health and Well Being?
"Friends, how many of us have them?"—this may be a lyric of a 1980's one hit wonder, but hip-hop group Whodini definitely touched on a subject that can transition today —everyone needs at least one best friend. While best friends are great because they keep the boredom away and help you develop your social skills, best friends can actually promote over all better health. That’s right. Some studies suggest that having a best friend can directly improve the way our body functions. In some cases, having a best friend can even prevent illnesses. That said, to learn why you should probably organize a "friendship appreciation day" to personally thank your bestie for keeping you sane and healthy for all these years, continue reading below.
Lowers Stress Hormones Levels
A recent study suggested that having a best friend near whenever an "unpleasant" or "unfortunate" event occurs can actually slow the rate at which cortisol is released into our bodies. Cortisol is a hormone that typically excretes when we’re stressed. While having cortisol in our bodies is natural, having an excess amount can have potentially damaging, long term effects. For example, too much cortisol can lead to weight gain since it's what makes us crave sugary and salty foods. Cortisol is also linked to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases. It's also known to weaken your immunity, making you more likely to catch the common cold and other illnesses.
Studies also show that having a good laugh fest with your best bud can help release endorphins—the same "feel-good" endorphins that are released when we eat chocolate, minus the added calories. The more endorphins our body releases the more euphoric and happy state we are in, which means you can feel happy even on the roughest days. Not only that, but smiling/ laughing actually helps you maintain a youthful appearance since it helps keep your skin's elasticity supple which means fewer fine lines and wrinkles.
Aid is Longevity
Lastly, those that don't have a best friend typically die much quicker than those with a strong group of close friends since a study suggests that a "lack of friends" can have the same harmful effects of smoking 15 cigarettes daily or being an alcoholic. Other studies have noted that cancer patients lived longer if they had the emotional support they needed from family and friends.
So go and nurture your friendship(s) to make sure that the most important people in your life are there to stay.
Peace, Love and Happy Blogging