How Does Friendship Boost Your Overall Health?

Katie Logue ‘25

We all have friendships that come and go in our lives, and we all have friendships that stick. However long these friendships last, they affect our health both negatively and positively. 

Good friendships are beneficial to our health by providing enrichment. A good friend will stick with you through the ups and the downs, the good and bad times, through thick and thin, and so on. However, they can do much more, by benefiting and promoting our general health and well-being. According to Mayo Clinic, friends can: 

  • Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
  • Boost your happiness and reduce your stress
  • Improve your self-confidence and self-worth
  • Help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss, or the death of a loved one
  • Encourage your to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise

Developed friendships can cause you a reduced risk of many and possibly major health problems. These problems can include depression, high blood pressure, and an unhealthy body mass index. Mayo Clinic also states, “In fact, studies have found that older adults who have meaningful relationships and social support are likely to live longer than their peers with fewer connections.” 

Even though friendships can provide these great benefits, remember, quality over quantity. So don’t go out and get a whole bunch of friends so you can live longer, look for friends that care about you. You want to find people who bring out the best in you, people that make you feel good about yourself. Surround yourself with a welcoming circle of friends that will be there through thick and thin. 

One time, I was having a bad day, and my friend noticed that and asked me what was wrong. I told her what was bothering and she let me talk about it while she just sat there and listened. With my friend letting me rant and talk it all out, I felt instantly better and relieved. Also, just on a regular day, my mental health is a lot better when I am talking with my friends and spending time with them, rather than being alone by myself. 

If you’re having trouble making friends, here are some tips on how to meet some:

  • Stay in touch with people you have worked with in the past 
  • Reach back out to an old friend and see what they’re up to 
  • Get to know the people around you or in your community

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