Five health-related reasons you need friends

Wardha Hussain Rizvi Jul 30 2015
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While our family is usually our go-to morale-boosters, we need friends to bring-in the extra spice in our lives. We owe them all the joy they bless us with.

However, what most of us do not realize is that sometimes, their companionship also positively affects our health.

Like a sweet symphony soothing our senses, friends and companions alleviate our physical and mental health in many ways – ways that we cannot even comprehend. Some of the roles that friends usually take in our lives are:

STRESS-RELIEVERS

Friendships prevent the release of stress hormones, one of the major contributors to various cardiac diseases.

Atherosclerosis, which refers to the clogging of the arteries, feeds upon the stress hormones and other causes of inflammation. When arteries become clogged, they are unable to deliver the right amount of blood and nourishments to the muscles of the heart. However, these hormones were found fewer in number in people who have a great support system of friends to spend an enjoyable time with.

PREVENT HEART DISEASES

An indiscriminate three-year-long Swedish study, which involved about 13,600 men and women, revealed that having fewer close companions increased the risk of having a first-time heart attack by about 50 percent.

CONFIDENCE-BOOSTERS

They boost our morale and give us the confidence to be who we are, as they accept us with our flaws. They are there for those discussions which we sometimes cannot talk about with our families.

Once a person begins to realize their importance in others’ lives, he/she moves closer to a more euphoric side in his or her mind-frame. Acceptance is what matters the most. When one is going through any trauma in life such as a divorce or a relationship breakup, friends are constant companions by their side to make sure they view the value of their decision correctly and without any regrets through their eyes.

SUPPORT SYSTEMS

All of this can substantially prevent potential suicides or attempts to suicide that people commit out of loneliness and the numb feeling of being left out.

Life is an everlasting journey till natural death, with its ups and downs.

Studies have found that people who enjoyed the fruits of a great friendship suffered less from being tormented and haunted by their failures because they could share their thoughts to someone. Sometimes, if a family is going through some trouble, friends come to aid.

DRUG-INHIBITORS

Having a good friendship bond with someone is also said to have positive effects on your diet and even helps in controlling ones usage of deadly drugs. If someone in a friend circle is in a vicious cycle of taking drugs, his or her friends can be there to curb the habit.

Positive friendships demand doing what others want just for the betterment of each other.

What’s more is that they can even help us by being persuasive about our unhealthy eating habits which may increase the risk of or increase the level of obesity and other diseases.

In fact, providing support to a friend is as beneficial to one’s well-being as receiving it. That’s the thing about friendship – it is a two-way street. So this Friendship Day, hug your close friends and let them know how important they are to you!

Wardha Hussain Rizvi

Wardha Hussain Rizvi:

Wardha is currently a student of M.B.B.S second year in Ziauddin University and aspires to be the best dermatologist in Pakistan. Due to her dissatisfaction with the current health industry she is doing her bit in creating health awareness by freelance writing for HTV, Pakistan's most effective health platform.