This post was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.
Friendship is essential to a healthy, happy existence. Even if you’re a total misanthrope—“people hater”—it would behoove you to aim to make and hold onto a few close friends. Why?
Friendship is full of important benefits, particularly as we age.
So, read on to learn about ten key benefits to friendship!
In her novel Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen has a character say “There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
This quote testifies to true friendship. It means that we would sacrifice and go to great lengths to help our friends. This, ultimately, is what friendship is about—and it can sometimes become something more.
Putting yourself in a place where you would do anything to help the people close to you has tremendous benefits, which you can read about below.
And if you would like more useful resources on friendship, you may wish to consider the offerings available online through BetterHelp.
10 Benefits to Friendship
Feeling Less Lonely
Being lonely is not fun. If you find yourself without any friends at all, you may struggle with loneliness. If you have friends that you’re close with and that you can interact with often, you’re much less likely to suffer from loneliness.
Studies have shown that people who engage with friends generally feel less stressed. This is because spending quality time with other people is proven to improve overall well-being and lower stress levels. Who doesn’t want that?
In general, people with more friends may experience greater personal development. When you surround yourself with good people, it is likely that they rub off on you. (And the same is true for surrounding yourself with bad people.)
Having a shoulder to cry on or just a friend to chat with or vent to when you’re feeling down can make a huge difference. While you shouldn’t turn your friends into your therapists, being able to open up to one another and count on each other for emotional support is a massive benefit of friendship.
Being Part of a Group
The feeling of belonging is one that we develop when young and is part of our DNA. By having a strong friend group, you will fulfill this natural desire and be more content in your life.
Overall Better Well-being
Mental health and physical health have both been shown in a variety of surprising studies to be improved among people with more friends. By having people around you for both fun and emotional support, you’ll likely live a happier, healthier life.
A Longer Life
You’re also more likely to live a longer life. Studies show that people who maintain friends into older age tend to live longer, healthier lives.
Sociality is also an important part of ageing. Older people who stay connected to friends are much less likely to experience cognitive decline at the same rates as people who do not remain social.
Being Held Accountable
A good friend will hold you accountable. They will call you out for your BS, in other words. We all need people in our life to keep us in check from time to time, and your friends are the perfect people to do this.
Lastly, having friends can fire you up and inspire you to be a better person. Say one of your friends get a promotion? You may be motivated to do the same. Say your friend runs a marathon? You may be motivated to start training for one. Having good friends can bring out the best in you.
There are so many benefits to friendship, and this list is really just scratching the surface. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and make some new friends today to live a happier, healthier, and longer life!