We all have at least one good friend we can always count on in times of trouble or when we’re feeling a little down and blue. Friendships have played a key role in our lives from when we were just tiny tots - they bring us joy and laughter, and they enrich our lives in so many ways.
But did you know that enduring friendships actually benefit your physical health and overall well-being? There are many reasons why this is so - here are eight of them.
1. Friendships are good for your mental health
Having friends around you helps you avoid the feeling of isolation. In fact, science has shown that social isolation is directly related to ill health. Isolation leads to loneliness which is a known unique factor for depressive symptoms. Many of us experienced this during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic due to social distancing restrictions. Thankfully, we can now meet our friends again and avoid being lonely and depressed.
2. Your friends can help you overcome tough times
We all know that a good friend or two (and maybe more) can help you get through tough times. And we’ve probably all experienced times when we felt our world was falling apart, perhaps due to a recent breakup, a death in the family, a job loss, or the passing of a much loved 4-legged family member. Yet, for all those tough times, it’s our friends who rally around us to help us make it through.
3. Good friends can provide emotional support
One of the best friendship benefits is the emotional support it can provide. True friends are always there to listen when you have problems. They validate your feelings, keep you distracted when you’re upset or sad, and do good things for you for no apparent reason. No matter how strong your relationship with your better half. maintaining strong relationships with the other people in your inner circle will help you keep your sense of self.
4. Quality friends help keep your physical health in check
Yes it’s true – and not only because they are concerned about you and your well-being but also because this is scientifically proven. Dozens of studies have shown that fulfilling relationships mean you are more likely to have fewer health problems, and live longer. Connecting with others can also reduce detrimental levels of stress, and people without strong social connections are at a much higher risk for many health concerns including cardiovascular disease, cancer and cognitive decline.
5. Friendships help you have a longer life
If strong friendships help to keep you mentally and physically healthy, it goes without saying that they also help you live longer. But our brains have been wired for robust social connections since the dawn of time. In fact, the same neural region of the brain that processes safety and protection from threats is the same region that processes social support. In other words, a lack of social connection leads to a greater risk of death regardless of age, gender, or health status.
6. True friends support your personal development
Maybe you have some lifestyle or bad financial habits you want to break. Your friends can support you to develop yourself into being who you should be by merely setting good examples. Perhaps a good friend just consolidated their credit cards to free themselves from debt, inspiring you to do the same. Or maybe someone decided to quit smoking and convinced you to quit, too. Or joined a gym. Or started running. Or took a meditation course. Or decided to learn something new. You get the picture.
7. Friendships make you feel you matter
Who doesn’t want to feel important to the people in our lives? We all want to know that we matter to others. In fact, relationships – the sense of belonging and love - rank third in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, with only the basics such as food, water and shelter; and safety (security and stability) being more important. When friends make us feel we matter, it gives us a sense of belonging, helping us feel more secure in life.
8. Friendships can aid your financial success
Have you ever heard the saying – “Your network is your net worth?”. Well, socially competent people are most likely to be financially successful. Being sociable and friendly certainly seems to have its perks. As a matter of fact, social skills are a key area in determining one’s wealth – although drive and determination play pretty important parts too (of course). Those who can interact well with people are usually the most successful in their fields, regardless of their industry.
What are you waiting for? Connect with your friends now!
While true friends are sometimes few and far between, enduring friendships benefit us in a multitude of ways. So, it's always worth keeping connected with those who have stayed with us through good times and the bad. And if you need some help right now to connect with an old buddy, you’ve got a friend in us, too. Just take a look at our cash loans up to $5,000 to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, the cash is usually in your bank account within a few hours – so you can go ahead and reconnect with those life-long friends you haven’t caught up with for a while.