7 Ways Friendships Affect Our Mental and Physical Well-being
Friends are invaluable and irreplaceable assets in one’s life that promote happiness, confidence, and well-being. They are our guides and comforters in challenging situations. They appreciate and celebrate our achievements. They are also at the forefront of nagging and censuring our unpleasant demeanor and wrong decisions. Their contribution is even deep and more lasting than simple words and actions.
The likes and dislikes of our social circles reflect in our daily life. We have the same preferences as our friends to show solidarity and strengthen our bond. If our friends are upset or going through unpleasant experiences, we also get upset.
It means friends can also impose a deteriorating effect on one’s health. For instance, spending time with alcoholic and drug-addictive friends can influence our tendencies for substance abuse. Our company induces our preferences for junk foods and unhealthy choices whenever we socialize outdoors.
A mistreated and untrustworthy relationship can trigger mental distress and shatter one’s confidence and self-esteem. And it is hard to develop long-term social relationships after losing dependable friends.
In short, friends can yield adverse outcomes for one’s health and wellness. But overall, their togetherness is more health-benefiting and positive. The following passages discuss how friendship contributes to better physical and mental health and well-being.
Encourage healthy behaviors and habits
We spend a lot of time with friends, so we adopt their way of doing things. Such practices become ingrained in our lifestyle without even realizing it. For instance, drug abuse is one of the consequences of socializing with people having addictive tendencies. They trigger drug abuse sentiments, delay recovery from addiction, and promote relapse.
But some friends help us abandon bad habits, harbor positive behaviors, and lead healthy lifestyles. If you explore www.delphihealthgroup.com, you will know how family and friends can contribute to the rehabilitation journey.
Likewise, one is more inclined to maintain a workout routine if their friends are into physical fitness. It is easy and fun to join a fitness facility with friends or exercise outdoors. Such group activities help overcome momentary dullness and maintain an active lifestyle.
Help cope with stress and anxiety
Since human beings are eager for bonding and connection, social connections are crucial for everyone to share thoughts, worries, and experiences. One cannot sustain longer in isolation and loneliness. Even simple and manageable things can increase our stress levels and anxiety if we keep our matters tight-lipped.
But friends can notice changes in our temperaments and behaviors if we undergo stress, anxiety, and other emotional and psychological challenges before anyone else. They lend us a helping hand, listen to our tragedies, and help us cope with emotional ups and downs.
We are more comfortable disclosing personal and professional challenges and secrets with friends than family members because they do not judge us outright. They offer us an uncritical space to share our honest thoughts.
Prolong the life expectancy
Trustworthy social relationships are as crucial for the quality of life as healthy eating, daily exercise, staying away from addiction, and better sleep. Friends, family, coworkers, and other social connections can minimize hardships and help us cope with challenges.
We can enjoy a fulfilling and satisfying life at work and home. And better work and life balance is key to living a sustainable and healthy life, a prerequisite for longevity and quality of life.
Studies further highlight that people with trustworthy, supportive, and meaningful relationships are happier and healthier and live longer than isolated, lonely, and deprived individuals. In contrast, toxic relationships and disagreements with friends and family members are as deteriorating as medically proven physical and psychological healthcare ailments.
Overcome grief and hardships
Getting through life’s challenges is not easy and doable for everyone. Personal, professional, social, and economic ups and downs are unsettling for everyone. Loss of loved ones, failures, marital issues, relationship problems, unprecedented accidents, and wrong decisions can further increase miseries in one’s life. Loss, griefs, and hardships shatter our sense of belongingness.
But more than that, life’s challenges can lead to long-term healthcare issues that amplify hardships. In such cases, friendships and social support networks can help overcome challenges, manage emotional pain, and regain mental stability. Their presence and consolation alone can take the load off our shoulders and lighten our mood, even if they cannot change or improve circumstances.
Postpone degenerative and aging process
Studies reveal that more than eighty percent of centenarians converse with a loved one or friend in routine. The survival rate of socially connected individuals is fifty percent more than lonely people. Loneliness and lack of social engagement accelerate and augment cognitive decline in people. Older adults are more at risk of such challenges as they distance themselves from friends and loved ones while walking through life’s different phases.
And once they lose their friends or disconnect from people who know them, their sense of belongingness shatters miserably. They do not have someone to turn to whenever they get upset or exhausted and keep their worries to themselves.
And lack of social support and connection promotes the risk of succumbing to chronic stress, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, late-age depression, and other psychological health issues. But the aging process is delayed for individuals who enjoy life to the fullest and have lasting connections. It means sustained social and family ties are inevitable for a healthy and fulfilling life. Relationships help us get through the thick and thin and give meaning to our life.
Promote physical health and mental health
Studies show that people having a knack for managing stress have better health and a lower risk of developing healthcare issues, including cardiovascular illnesses, diabetes, anxiety, and others. Their chances of developing such complications subside when they manage risk factors like stress, unhealthy diet, tobacco use, drug abuse, and unstable personal relationships.
Otherwise, family issues alone are enough to trigger a deteriorating cycle for several ailments. But when you know you have someone who understands your situation whenever you are down, stress is merely a matter of time. Friends help one control emotions and thwart away potential stressors and triggers. A frank conversation with a supporting friend is one of the efficient tactics to manage hardships at work, home, and elsewhere.
We are our number one fault-finder. Our self-limiting doubts, fears, and shortcomings are the insurmountable obstacles that inhibit our progress and achievements and shake our confidence. We stay indulged in the vicious cycle of self-inflicting thoughts and social comparison and do not even realize and appreciate our strengths.
But friends can notice our capabilities and help us overcome shortcomings, weaknesses, and self-doubts. Positive and harmonious social connections, acceptance, and support further augment our self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-confidence and help us pursue our dreams.
Friendship is more than spending time and having fun. Companionship influences our choices, habits, and preferences, leading to lasting physical, emotional, and psychological health benefits. But some companies can also affect one’s health negatively. Thus, choose your social relationships wisely. Do not socialize merely for greedy benefits or temporary fun.
Prioritize quality, honesty, and truthfulness than your social circle’s strength and your friends’ social status if you want to augment peace in your life. A hearty conversation and meaningful relationship do not need unnecessary show-offs.