It’s Friendship, The Perfect Blend-ship

Get out there this weekend and make some friends. Why? Because it’s good for you!

Excerpted from “How Friendships Improve Health” By Terri Hall

“Move over omega 3’s and colorful berries!  There’s something else  on the menu for good health and longevity…friendship.

In numerous studies, researchers are finding that people who have strong  friendships age better, recover from illness quicker, have stronger immunity,  and live longer.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the benefits of friendship include stress reduction, improving your self-image, decreasing your  risk of serious mental illness, and the presence of a support system during  life’s joys and difficult transitions.

A 2008 Harvard Study concluded that having a robust social  life delays memory loss among elderly Americans.  A 10-year Australian study found that older adults who had  strong social networks lived longer than those who did not have them.

A team of Brigham Young University researchers announced in 2010 their  conclusions after reviewing 148 studies examining the effects of social  relationships on health.  Over 308,000 people were represented in these  studies.  Their bottom line: it is more harmful to have low levels of  social interaction than it is not to exercise, and it is twice as harmful as  obesity.

The power seems to lie in friendships, moreso than in having a spouse or  family.  According to Rebecca G. Adams, a professor of sociology at the  University of North Carolina, Greensboro, “Friendship has a bigger impact on our  psychological well-being than family relationships.””

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