International Friendship Day is celebrated on July 30th across several countries. The day is meant to celebrate those meaningful relationships that we form with different people throughout our lives, from the moment we’re kids until we’re older. While friendships come and go and change shape over the years, they make us feel good and less lonely.
Friendships also have real scientific health benefits. After the year we’ve been through and the craziness that surrounds us on a daily basis, we all need a little bit of that. Here are 5 reasons why friendships are good for your mental health:
Friends help you live longer
People with a solid friends in their lives are likely to live longer than people who are isolated. According to LiveScience, having good social relationships is twice as positive on your health as exercising. Maintaining friendships is as effective for your body as quitting smoking.
Your friends make you a healthier person
People with stronger social ties are generally healthier than people who don’t have these relationships. Older people who have few social ties are more likely to have high blood pressure and suffer from other health issues.
They help you develop social skills
When we’re kids, friends help us socialize and interact with others. As we grow older, they provide guidance on how to act when facing new situations. For introverts, friends are especially helpful, making them feel at ease in stressful social situations.
Good friends make you a good person
We’ve all heard the classic parental line “if your friend jumps off a cliff, would you?” It’s funny but it’s also kind of true. Friendships are contagious. When you’re friends with good people, you’re likely to imitate their behaviors and follow their example.
These relationships can last a lifetime
Long-term friendships bloom and change over the years. Some days you may talk on the phone all day, while at other times a couple of weeks may pass when you’re not as present in each others lives. Unlike romantic relationships, friendships allow for some space, whether that’s physical or emotional.