Companionate-style friendship really is the bomb. Did you know that having a good set of mates can help you live a longer life? Well my instinct tells me so, considering its my friends who get me through the horrors of the daily grind, keeping me sane, keeping me poised. However now its conclusive: research shows that having a good friend is kinda like a life-saver.
Good friends actually equate to great medicine: strong social ties seem to stave off memory loss as we age, reduce stress, boost immunity (fancy that!), help us lose weight and keep it off, and buffer against depression. What a wonderful multi-vitamin a friend is…who listens to me, too!
Its those industrious scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who reached the conclusion that having supportive relationships leads to a longer life. 300,000 individuals were tracked over seven and a half years, the investigators finding that those with strong social ties had 50% better chance of survival – regardless of sex, age, health status and cause of death – than those loners with weak social networks.
Ah, the buddy system. What remarkable power and influence friendships level on the individual. Both sexes benefit by having close confidents. We’ve known this for ever regarding female bonds, but male mateship is just as compelling on men’s health. Risk of heart attacks reduce in blokes who love their pals.
This feeling of companionship or mateship, or what ever you wish to call it, is actually the feeling of friendship: a unique blend of affection, trustworthiness, care, respect, and loads of fun. And now we can add “good health” to the mix.