In today’s world, everyone is looking for ways to optimize their physical and mental health. From eliminating processed foods from your diet to taking a daily walk, there are many small (and large) things we can do to improve our physical and mental health over time. But what most of us don’t realize is that one of the best pieces of advice we can follow is to simply, cultivate friendships.  

According to a recent article published by Mayo Clinic, “Friendships can have a major impact on your health and well-being. Friends also play a significant role in promoting your overall health. Adults with strong social connections have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure, and an unhealthy body mass index.”

So what are the health benefits of friendship?

  • The health benefits of friendship are wide and varied. Some have been linked to lower stress levels, better sleep, and even greater longevity.
  • Friendships can also be a source of meaning and purpose in life. They can help people cope with stress and improve their moods. And they can just plain make people happier!
  • Friendship improves blood pressure and heart health. Studies have shown that people who have close friends have a lower blood pressure than those who dont have any close friends or family members around them. Having close relationships also lowers heart disease risk by lowering blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels, reducing inflammation, and lowering stress hormones like cortisol in our bodies which leads to better overall.
  • On the flip side, loneliness is associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and even premature death. So it’s not surprising that researchers are looking into ways to help people make more friends — or at least improve the quality of their existing relationships.
  • And one of the most wonderful emotional and mental benefits of friendship is love. Friendship love is a deep and caring affection that you have for your friends. This type of love is different from romantic love or family love, but it is just as strong and important. When you are friends with someone, you have a special bond that is based on trust, understanding, and shared experiences. You know that you can rely on your friend to be there for you, no matter what. This type of love is built over time and can last a lifetime. It is a true gift and can make your life significantly more fulfilling.