Why Good Friends Are Scientifically Proven to Lead to a Healthier Life

by Richard

Good friends are always nice to have. They enrich your life physically, culturally, and they broaden your horizons. But what many people don’t know is they are scientifically proven to come with lots of direct and indirect health benefits.

This guide will detail some of the reasons why good friends should be a ‘must’ in your life.

Increase Self-Control

One of the reasons why people become unhealthy is because they lack any self-control. If you are someone who struggles to resist the temptations of an unhealthy diet and a bad lifestyle, it may be due to a lack of good friends.

A study published in Psychological Science revealed that people who have good friends are more likely to have more willpower. This works on the same principle as peer pressure. Teenagers who hang around with other kids who are into alcohol, drugs, and causing trouble are more likely to develop into these sorts of people.

The same applies to fully grown adults. If you surround yourself with good friends who are disciplined, those positive habits will rub off on you.

Fewer Friends Can Reduce Risk Taking

Surrounding yourself with as many people as possible isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes you need to take a step back and think about who the important people really are in your life. Fewer friends of a higher quality is always more desirable than lots of low quality friends.

The benefit of better friends is it reduces risk taking. As any entrepreneur knows, risk taking is necessary in order to achieve great things. But foolish risk taking is no better than gambling your entire fortune on red or black.

The evidence states a better quality of friendship reduces risk taking. Loneliness and rejection are mental conditions that can lead to taking more risks. Not only does this indirectly increase those feelings of loneliness and rejection, it can also hit you in your wallet.

Social Media Friends Increase Stress Levels

Stress is the most common threat to health today. There are many contributing factors that lead to enhanced stress levels. Many of these revolve around your general lifestyle, but your friends are a big factor. In addition, social media friends could be one of the key contributors to a high stress lifestyle.

Everyone is plugged in to social media. But more and more people are concentrating more on their online personas than on the key human relationships developed face-to-face. Rather than concentrating on Facebook, you should be looking to create strong friendships in the real world.

A high level of stress correlates with lots of social media friends and a greater amount of time spent on social media. But why is this the case?

Social media presents an unrealistic view of everyone involved. It does not take long for social media to turn into a form of arms race, where people are constantly trying to one up each other by presenting superior perspectives of their lives. While an update on that trip to Vegas may give you a shot of happiness, in the long-term it puts you under a constant need to do better.

How do you stop this from happening?

Take yourself away from these virtual avatars and spend more time with the people who really matter in the real world. Create a policy of not updating social media during your evening. You may even want to unplug yourself from updating your news feed entirely.

It is the key to a low-stress lifestyle.

Finding Higher Quality Friends

Higher quality friends are vital for a healthy lifestyle. But finding these good friends is not always easy. To start with, understand that it takes a long time to build a strong relationship with someone. Take a look at your existing friendship circle and consider who your ‘best’ friends are.

Have you spent enough time with these people lately? Do you feel like you truly know them? What do they contribute to your life?

Assess your current friendship circle. It may involve making some tough decisions. That drinking buddy of yours may only be promoting the idea of spending every night getting drunk at the bar, for example. Is this really what you want?

The friends you want should give you the willpower to maintain a healthy lifestyle. They should be contributing towards a positive outlook on life and strong mental health. How will you make sure that you are associating with the right people today?

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