There has been countless quotes, poetry and songs on the virtues of a good friendship. In the song co-written by Burt Bacharach What Are Good Friends For? , these lyrics that often keep repeating in one’s mind:
Knowing you can always count on me,for sure
That’s what friends are for..
The video below shows how Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross and Whitney Houston appreciate what good friends are for..
And now, medical researchers are finding a powerful weapon to help fight illness, depression, hasten recovery, slow down aging and prolong life…your friends. An Australian study on older people discovered that those with a large circle of friends were 22% less likely to die in the 10 years of the study. A similar Harvard research showed that strong social ties will promote brain health as one ages.
I agree. The role of friends to one’s health has been under-appreciated, compared to marriage and family. Sure, there can be rotten apples in the barrel, but with good friends, they can bring a positive psychological impact on one’s well-being, as the above studies demonstrate. Another study of 3000 nurses with breast cancer even showed that friendship had an even greater positive effect on health than a spouse or family member.
Exactly why friends have such a big effect on health isn’t too clear – could it be the ‘feel-good’ factor? Or the physical and psychological support which lessens one’s stress levels? Whatever it is, the message that these studies point out is that friends do make your life better and healthier.
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