Our understanding of the word “friends” has drastically changed over the past decade. Facebook and other social media websites have had a large role to play in causing this change. Irrespective of the number of friends you may have online, offline friends are a must if you want to live a healthier and more fulfilling life. Studies have shown that spending time in the company of friends can make a person mentally healthier, raise endorphin levels, and can maybe even increase your lifespan. Read on to find out more.
1. Spending Time With Close Friends Keeps Us Mentally Healthy
People who feel lonely as a result of not having friends to spend time with, often tend to become very self-focused and self-analytical. These qualities are not necessarily negative and it’s alright to be have these traits in moderation. But even if we happen to be people who prefer directing energy into our own thoughts rather than externally, it is always good to have a small circle of friends for whom we take the effort to get out of our own heads for. Talking to people close to us may help us see the things we usually do from a different perspective which will in turn leave us open to more ideas and possibilities.
2. Having Friends Can Keep Us Physically Active
Most people put away the idea of doing an activity that they might find fun and interesting simply because they don’t have the right company to do it with. Although there is absolutely no shame in doing these activities by oneself, it might sometimes be more fun to share the experience with another person. What is absolutely amazing about having friends to do stuff with, is that we can have different friends who share our interests towards a particular thing. For example, we can have a fitness friend with whom we workout with or a movie friend with whom we catch all the latest releases with.
3. Spending Time With Friends On A Regular Basis May Increase Your Lifespan
Some studies have theorized a link between social isolation and mortality. People who live in isolation sometimes tend to be more stressed owing to the fact that there isn’t enough social interaction. Studies have found that spending time with our friends can help our brains release endorphin which is a chemical produced in our brains that acts as a natural painkiller and help lower stress in our bodies. Lower stress and a more relaxed lifestyle can have a large positive impact on our lifespan.
4. Friendship May Prevent Dementia
Some studies suggest people who are lonely are at higher risk of suffering from dementia than those who aren’t. According to a Dutch study that appears in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, people who suffer from loneliness have 64% higher chances of dementia. It is important to note that “feeling lonely” and “being alone” were two completely different states of living. This is to say that, we should never assume that a person who lives alone is lonely. Another important factor to take into consideration is that studies are exploring the possibility that the decrease in social skills is an effect of dementia rather than it being the other way around.
5. It’s Just Nice To Have Them Around
The lyrics from “Old Friends” by Ylvis goes, “Life’s a bitch -a wise man said. No matter what you end up dead. And all that you can wish for is a friend.” From a philosophical standpoint, if we’re questioning human existence like most of us at some point do, then it is likely that we’ll never arrive at a satisfying enough answer. One of the better ways to look at your existential crisis would be to see life as an experience that is fleeting and to ideally have another person (a friend) to occasionally share that experience with.