Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Health Benefits of Friendship

Stressed-out hamsters with skin wounds who were paired with other hamsters healed faster than those left alone to heal. The hamsters with friends also produced less of the stress hormone cortisol, which has negative effects on mood and immunity. You may not be a hamster, but the effects are transferable to human friends. If you're depressed, recuperating from an illness, or stressed you'll heal and deal faster with friends. This is a huge health benefit of friendship.

Researchers haven’t figured out exactly how, but friends boost your immune system. Good friends help you relax, take a deep breath, and remember what really matters – and why. The connection and relationship you feel when you’re with your friends boosts your feelings of hope, faith, and belief that things will be Okay. Friends provide comfort and companionship, laughter and honesty. A strong support network can also keep you motivated and energized! This is why it's important to know how to be a good friend.

A strong support network isn't just about emotions and feelings. A huge health benefit of friendship is moral support. Practically speaking, when a friend accompanies you to a doctor’s appointment or medical procedure, you’ll likely experience lower blood pressure and a slower heart rate. You’ll heal faster and live longer. Without social ties or friends to keep you going, you’re more likely to experience negative emotions, more illnesses, and even earlier death than normal. A strong support network will keep you alive and well.

Read more: http://behavioural-psychology.suite101.com/article.cfm/best_friends_forever#ixzz0QWVZc1XH

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