We all have that one childhood friend who we hardly ever see but as soon as you meet up, it is like you never spent any time apart! These types of relationships are great not only for your mental health but also your physical health too. Keep your friends close and your childhood friends closer!
A new study reveals that men who spent a lot of time with their friends as kids, tend to have a lower BMI (Body Mass Index) and a lower blood pressure level in their early 30s. Many studies have proven that individuals with good social lives have less illnesses and they live longer too. The effects of your social life have been shown to be twice as strong as exercising in relation to premature death.
Friends help to reduce depression. Loneliness (or weak social ties) is said to increase the risk of mortality and decrease overall health, over a period of 6 years. So there you have it, apparently your childhood friends could aid in saving your life in later years.
Other studies have concluded that older adults with a good social life have been proven to live longer than their peers who don’t have much of a social life. So, get out there, make new friends whatever your age; be it at work, at college, in your community or in a club/activity.
If life has gotten in the way, pick up your phone and arrange a day to meet your friends or even better call over and surprise them! It will be worth it in the end, reconnecting and boosting your health! I leave you here with a quote by Jim Henson,
“There’s not a word yet, for old friends who’ve just met”
- Holt-Lunstad, J., Smith, T.B., Baker, M., Harris, T., Stephenson, D. (2015) Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for mortality: a meta-analytic review. Perspectives Psychological Science. Vol. 10(2), pp 227-37.
- Pappas, S. (2016) 7 Ways Friendships Are Great for Your Health. LiveScience. Available online: https://www.livescience.com/53315-how-friendships-are-good-for-your-health.html. [Accessed: 04/04/18].
- Mayo Clinic. (2016). Friendships: Enrich your life and improve your health. Healthy Lifestyle: Adult health. Mayo Clinic.
- Luo, Y., Hawkley, L.C., Waite L.J., Cacioppo, J.T. (2012) Loneliness, health, and mortality in old age: a national longitudinal study. Social Science & Medicine. Vol, 74(6), pp 907-14.
- Deccan Chronicle. (2018) Here’s how childhood friendship can benefit health in adults. Lifestyle, Health and Wellbeing. Mayo Clinic.