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The Transition House, Inc.

How friendships can actually make you healthier

 

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Friendships are a great source of joy and laughter in our lives. Friends support you, encourage you, and help you take care of yourself when you need it most. These relationships don't just you benefit your emotional well-being, though – they can actually impact your health. Good, positive friendships can make us healthier, decrease our stress levels, and lower our chances of developing some diseases.

According to research, people with wider social networks generally have higher self-esteem and feel more control over their lives. On the other hand, studies have shown that people with fewer friends tend to die sooner after having a heart attack than people with strong friendships. Close relationships can even help you fight off common colds.

An interesting study showed that having strong social circles can even increase your likelihood of overcoming cancer. A small 2005 study observed 61 women with advanced ovarian cancer. Higher levels of interleukin 6, a protein marker for a more aggressive form of the disease, were found in the women with the weakest social bonds. An older, similar study followed 86 women with metastatic breast cancer for a year and found that the women who participated in a weekly support group lived twice as long.

Having healthy friendships can lead to a lower chance of developing cardiovascular problems and immune problems, and can lower your levels of cortisol. People with a big social circle tend to be more at peace, which leads to better health.

Good friends can make for a wonderful support group, but sometimes talking to friends isn't enough. Talking to a counselor can provide a safe, comfortable, nonjudgemental environment. If you or someone you know is in need of counseling in Kissimmee or the surrounding area, contact one of our three counseling centers here


Outpatient Center 

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