You probably know by now that omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants will boost your health, but did you know that having strong friendships will also help you live a longer life?
Recent research has shown that people with a strong connection of friendships age more gracefully, bounce back quickly from illness, have a better immune system, and live a longer life. Mayo Clinic recently revealed studies that showed that strong friendships improve confidence, reduce stress, decrease mental illness, and give you necessary long-term support throughout life.
Additionally, a Harvard study from 2008 showed that having a booming social life delayed mental impairment and memory loss in elderly Americans. When you couple that with the fact that coffee is also full of antioxidants that have been scientifically proven to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and impaired mental function caused by age, there is no reason not to grab a cup of Joe with a long-lost friend today! A 10 year study in Australia also showed that elderly adults who have strong social connections lived longer than those who did not.
Furthermore, a team of researchers from Brigham Young University announced in 2010 their conclusions of over 148 studies revealing how relationships affected health. These studies followed more than 308,000 people, and they showedthat it was as harmful to the health to have little or no social interaction as it was not to exercise! In fact, not having strong friendships was twice as detrimental to the health as being obese!
This health benefit comes from the true connection of friendship, even more so than in marriage or family relationships. Rebecca G. Adams, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, confirmed that friendship has a large impact on psychological well-being, even more so than strong family ties.
So what are some quick ways to improve your health by strengthening your friendships?
Call up your best buddy to go on a coffee date, or invite a friend you haven’t talked to lately over to your house for some coffee. (Remember that coffee is also full of healthy antioxidants that have been scientifically proven to reduce the risk of stroke, cirrhosis of the liver, type II diabetes, and even gallstones. Bonus!)
Keep in mind that not everyone has to be your best friend. You can have certain friends that you meet for play dates with your children, working out, or even in a larger group of friends, yet the connection still provides the same health benefits.
Give a friend a call. In this day and age where social media websites like Facebook are highly prevalent, we are often missing out on face time with our friends. Even if your friend doesn’t live in the same area of the country as you, you can still connect voice to voice over the phone to strengthen your relationship.
Get out and about. If you are interested in making new friends, you can volunteer, join a sports team, hang out at a local cafe with a cup of Joe, and try new activities to meet new people and improve your health!
Mark Ramos is a coffee fanatic and owns The Coffee Bump. For a great selection in all things coffee and espresso machines, check out http://www.thecoffeebump.com