Social Wellness: We need our friends


We need our friends

I recently started a book club with two of my closes friends. Which got me to thinking about the importance of friendship and one’s wellness. When we think back to our childhood and the level of importance of those encounter; usually they include fond memories. Friends, new and old, close and far, hold a special place in our hearts and mind. Truth is we value the history we have with them, the hope they may bring, the support they offer, the stories they tell, the interests we share. They play a crucial part in our lives. They make us better, happier people, and believe it or not it turns out – we’re healthier too?

When reading a Mayo Clinic article they talked about what is called “social wellness.” This article argued that social wellness is a very important part of our overall wellness.   In fact, social relationships have a very real and substantial impact on our physical health. It showed that social connectedness had dramatic effects on, cancer survival, memory and overall life expectation. As for social isolation it has been linked to higher risk of memory loss, and cardiac disease.

Those of us with close relationships are probably more likely to receive support, reassurance to take better care of ourselves.   Social connections, especially friendships, reduce distress and physical and emotional health. Friends, provide a sounding board for our emotions, a meaningful support, and our long-term friends have the role of playing a reminder of our experiences; things both good and bad. Friends can give us clear insight on how we best deal with problems. They can balance us through the experiences and other relationships. I can go on and on about how friendships are so important to our wellness. However, all we need to remember, regardless of research, is that friends are just good for the soul.




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